Votes cast increased 11pc despite 7pc population fall
The confirmed population decline in the Pilbara will stoke the fire set by the WA Nationals for a probe into the increase in voter numbers in the seat.
The Pilbara seat, consisting of voters located in the confines of the Shire of East Pilbara, City of Karratha and Town of Port Hedland, has experienced a 7 per cent decline in population since 2011, however the amount of votes cast this year compared to the 2013 election increased by 11 per cent.
Of most note is Newman, where a 44 per cent voting age population decrease coincided with a 4 per cent decrease in votes, excluding absentee and early votes.
WA Nationals deputy leader Jacqui Boydell said the party was still waiting for further information from the electoral commissioner into what he believed was the cause for the voter increase.
“Even if it is direct enrolment he can satisfy himself that is the cause,” she said.
“There is an anomaly, especially when you look at North West Central, which is a very similar demographic, and which had an increase of 140-odd people, the Pilbara is 3000-odd.”
Electoral Affairs Minister Bill Johnston has previously brushed aside these concerns, stating an 11 per cent increase is “about what one would expect.”
“All that happened was that people who were on the electoral roll for the Federal seat were included in the State roll,” he said.
“That was through the operation of the law that was introduced when the Leader of the National Party sat at the cabinet table and supported that decision. “There was an 11.7 per cent increase in the Pilbara electorate.
“It is just exactly what one would expect for a seat the boundaries of which did not change.”
The Nationals are pushing for a standing committee with oversight of electoral law and practice.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.