BAT­TLE OF THE SEATS

MA­JOR PAR­TIES BICKER OVER RE­DIS­TRI­BU­TION OF ELEC­TORATES’ BOUND­ARIES

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Ian Pater­son and Ali­son Bald­ing

THE La­bor Party wants to strengthen its hold in Western Syd­ney by giv­ing Mt Druitt to the fed­eral seat of Lind­say and mak­ing part of Pen­rith a moun­tains seat.

The party’s amended pro­posal to the Aus­tralian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion calls for sub­urbs from Bid­will to Minch­in­bury and Leth­bridge Park to Rooty Hill to be given to Lind­say, which is now held by Lib­eral MP Fiona Scott.

If ap­proved, the sub­urbs will be taken from the La­bor-held seat of Chi­fley, which is held by Ed Hu­sic. Un­der the pro­posed changes, Chi­fley will be handed Black­town up to Maray­ong and as far east as Toongab­bie.

“You do a lot of work to make con­tact with peo­ple in your area but at the same time, if the seat changes, it is an op­por­tu­nity to meet new peo­ple,” Mr Hu­sic said.

Ms Scott was not avail­able for in­ter­view be­fore dead­line but her party’s sub­mis­sion has slammed La­bor’s pro­posal.

THE La­bor Party wants to ce­ment its strong­hold on the west by giv­ing Mt Druitt to the seat of Lind­say and mak­ing Pen­rith part of a moun­tains seat.

The party’s amended pro­posal to the Aus­tralian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion would see sub­urbs from Bid­will to Minch­in­bury and Leth­bridge Park to Rooty Hill given to Lind­say, with Chi­fley handed Black­town up to Maray­ong and as far east as Toongab­bie.

Sub­urbs west of Or­chard Hills would join the seat of Mac­quarie, po­ten­tially chang­ing the Lib­eral lean in Lind­say.

Chi­fley fed­eral La­bor MP Ed Hu­sic said this was not the first time Black­town had done the dance into his seat.

“There’s been a fair bit of Black­town do­ing the hokey pokey in Chi­fley, one mo­ment it’s in then it’s out, then it’s back in and out again,” Mr Hu­sic said.

“You do a lot of work to make con­tact with peo­ple in your area but at the same time, if the seat changes, it is an op­por­tu­nity to meet new peo­ple.”

La­bor spokes­woman for the seat of Mac­quarie, which cov­ers the Blue Moun­tains, Su­san Tem­ple­man, said the changes were sug­gested to avoid split­ting the Blue Moun­tains, which was what the Lib­eral Party’s pro­posal ad­vo­cated.

“There are cer­tainly strong ar­gu­ments put in many sub­mis­sions about how the Blue Moun­tains con­nects strongly with Pen­rith and the Ne­pean re­gion,” she said.

The Lib­eral Party has re­jected La­bor’s idea that Agnes Banks, Lon­don­derry and Berk­shire Park join Mac­quarie but sup­ports the pro­posal for Wal­la­cia and Lud­den­ham to join Lind­say.

Lind­say fed­eral Lib­eral MP Fiona Scott’s of­fice was con­tacted for com­ment but she did not re­spond be­fore The Stan­dard went to press.

The Lib­eral Party has slammed La­bor’s sub­mis­sion.

“The bla­tant par­ti­san ap­proach taken by the ALP is ev­i­dent from the out­set,” the Lib­eral Party re­vised sub­mis­sion said.

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