Putting Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour in the one electorate simply does not make sense

The draft boundaries for Lyne and Cowper proposed by the Australia Electoral Commission as part of the Federal redistribution in New South Wales do not make sense according to the Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie.

Putting Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, into the one electorate under the draft proposals issued today by the Australian Electorate Commission does little to demonstrate that there is an understanding of the “communities of interest” in the region, nor the projected growth.

“Basically the AEC is proposing to put the two largest cities on the North Coast into one electorate, not recognising that the area’s growth will almost certainly see the two cities needing to be separated into two different electorates once again in the redistribution after this,” Dr Gillespie said.

The redistribution has been triggered by an assessment of the nation’s electoral enrolment across 150 electorates which has determined that New South Wales is entitled to 47.4 electorates which has been rounded down to 47 seats, and that Western Australia is entitled to just over 15.5 seats, which is rounded up to 16 seats.

“Even under this draft, nearly half of my constituents living in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area will still be in Lyne and they rely heavily on the regional services delivered in Port Macquarie. Many locals throughout the Hastings and Camden Haven would obviously feel they should be in the same electorate as the major services centre.”

Port Macquarie has more in common with Lake Cathie and Wauchope than Coffs Harbour.

“I have very much enjoyed representing Port Macquarie in the Federal Parliament and I hope to continue representing them as the Member for Lyne when the AEC reviews submissions to these draft proposals in the month ahead.

“Hopefully common sense will prevail and the AEC will see the logical reason why Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour should not be in the same electorate,” he added.

Those who wish to make a comment or objection can do so until 6pm Friday 13 November at: http://www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/2014/nsw/objections.htm

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