Changes for Isa, Dalrymple in electoral shake-up

The map released by ECQ shows adjusted boundaries for Mount Isa to Charters Towers and a change of name. Photo: Electoral Commission Queensland

The Queensland Redistribution Commission is proposing to change Mount Isa state electorate to include Charters Towers and give it a new name, under proposals released to the public on Friday.

The likely change is part of the Commission’s proposal to move the state from 89 to 93 electoral districts.

The additional seats are all on the coast and some rural seats including Mount Isa will actually get bigger while the second KAP seat of Dalrymple (centred on Charters Towers) would be abolished, while the new seat ofHill also picksup some of Dalrymple.

Mount Isa would be renamed “Traeger” and pick up Charters Towers while losing Winton and the lowly populated Diamantina Shire (Bedourie and Birdsville) to Gregory.

Traeger is named forAlfred Hermann Traeger, the Victorian-born engineer who designed the pedal radio sets for John Flynn’s flying doctor service.

When the LNP issued its submission to the QRC in August suggesting a larger Mount Isa electorate that would include Charters Towers, Moranbah and Collinsville,Mr Katter attacked itas “not in the best interests of regional Queenslanders”.

Objectionsmust then be lodged with the electoral committion by 5pm Monday, March 27.

Opposition leader Tim Nicholls said theredistribution representedthe biggest shake-up of electoral boundaries in 30 years and theLNP would abide by the umpire’s decision.

“The LNP will carefully study the findings and will engage with all its MPs and candidates before providing more public comment,” Mr Nicholl said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk blamed the LNP for the extra seats.

“The LNP cut 14,000 government workers, including in key service areas of health, child safety and education, when it was in office,” the Premier said.

“They are prepared to create four new jobs – for four extra politicians.”

Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said they need to make sure that everything is being done to ensure adequate representation in rural and regional areas.

“Adequate representation means that each person has the opportunity to meet and shake hands with their local member,” he said.

“It’s a shame the new seats being created are closer to metropolitan areas, not in western areas where it’s already difficult for the local member to get around their massive electorates.”

“The major parties have got what they wanted which is less representation in regional areas.”

Mr Katter said it was another example of rural areas being overlooked.

“With less representation in the bush we’ll continue to see policies focussed on cities,” he said.

“I’m very concerned that we’ll continue to see people with no idea what it’s like to live out west making decisions about how we use our land and water.”

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