A ‘blow for re­gional Qld’

MP hits out at La­bor’s elec­toral re­dis­tri­bu­tion de­ci­sion

Isis Town and Country - - Life -

THE LNP’s com­mon­sense pro­pos­als to re­view the State’s elec­toral re­dis­tri­bu­tion process af­ter 30 years has been re­jected by La­bor with the sup­port of Speaker Pe­ter Welling­ton and their best friend Billy Gor­don, the Mem­ber for Bur­nett, Stephen Ben­nett, said.

Mr Ben­nett said the Palaszczuk/Don­ald­son La­bor Gov­ern­ment’s move against the LNP’s Elec­toral (Re­dis­tri­bu­tion Com­mis­sion) and An­other Act Amend­ment Bill 2015 was a blow for re­gional Queens­lan­ders and their hard-work­ing MPs.

“Un­for­tu­nately they’ve once again demon­strated they will put their de­sire to cling to power be­fore the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple of Queens­land,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“For the Mem­ber for Bund­aberg to claim no MPs from ru­ral and re­mote seats had com­plained they had any dif­fi­culty get­ting around their elec­torates is a com­plete cop-out.

“We heard the pleas from the Mem­bers for Gre­gory, War­rego, Mt Isa, Dal­rym­ple, Hinch­in­brook and South­ern Downs as to how their elec­torates were hurt­ing, but the Mem­ber for Bund­aberg and her At­tor­ney-Gen­eral have their heads in the sand.

“For La­bor to claim let­ter­box drop­ping in a high-rise at Red­cliffe is just as hard as hav­ing to sleep in the car be­tween re­mote ru­ral town­ships proves just how out of touch they are with re­gional Queens­land.”

Mr Ben­nett said La­bor had ig­nored the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Elec­toral and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­view Com­mis­sion (EARC) in 1990, borne from the Fitzger­ald In­quiry.

De­nied a say

“The Fitzger­ald elec­toral re­form process rec­om­mended in 1991 that there be seven-year pe­ri­odic re­views of the con­sti­tu­tion of the house,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“That was al­most 25 years ago.”

Mr Ben­nett said that the Palaszczuk La­bor Gov­ern­ment had also de­nied Queens­lan­ders a stronger say in the re­dis­tri­bu­tion process to en­sure they re­ceived the best out­comes for their com­mu­ni­ties.

“The Mem­ber for Bund­aberg and her gov­ern­ment are hold­ing Queens­land back from be­ing fairly and ef­fec­tively rep­re­sented,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“It is a real pos­si­bil­ity that that the Mem­ber for Bund­aberg will rep­re­sent the con­stituents of the Bur­nett with a La­bor-con­trolled agenda and to dis­re­spect­fully dis­graced the ru­ral rep­re­sen­ta­tion is an­other ex­am­ple of a gov­ern­ment out of touch.

“It’s now clear only the LNP re­alises the chal­lenges in­volved in rep­re­sent­ing both re­gional and ur­ban elec­torates.”

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