Cook to change if big parties get their way
MEMBER for Cook Billy Gordon has fallen in with Katter’s Australian MPs and slammed the Liberal National Party’s submission to the Queensland Redistribution Commission and its proposal to abolish the seat of Dalrymple.
“The LNP’s proposals to get rid of the electorate of Dalrymple confirms that rural and regional representation is doomed in Queensland should the LNP get re-elected into government,” said Mr Gordon in a statement.
“I question the motives and obsession behind the LNP’s paper, shifting current electorates mainly in rural and remote Queensland, to pave a supposedly easier victory at the next election for LNP candidates.
“Abolishing Dalrymple will affect other electorates. I want to be careful that Cook is not marginalised. Cook is a ministate electorate, with far more complex and sensitive issues, than you will find in South East Queensland and those in and around the city of Brisbane.”
The LNP submission to the Commission proposes the enlargement of Cook as a flowon effect of abolishing Dalrymple, which is touted as a way to reduce the number of large electorates with weighted quotas from five to four.
In abolishing Dalrymple the southern border of Cook would need to absorb a large stretch of Gulf Country from the seat of Mt Isa, which would expand east to absorb some of the former electorate of Dalrymple.
The inclusion of more Gulf Country into Cook would bump Cook to well above 200,000sq km.
“This boundary brings the Gulf peninsula community of interest into one seat and follows transport linkages,” the submission states.
Electors would be added to Cook from the communities of Gilbert River, Croydon and Georgetown.
In its submission the LNP reasoned that increasing the number of seats (from 89 to 93) would remove the need to redistribute seats away from regional Queensland to the South East, and lower the need to have large electorates in the outback.
Electorates in Queensland that are above 100,000sq km are given a boost in enrolled voters through the large electorate allowance – this is the addition of notional electors to the actual enrolled number. Notional electors are calculated by adding 2 per cent of the total area of the district to the enrolment figure.
This means that Cook, which clocks in at 196,805sq km, gets an adjusted enrolment of an extra 3,936 voters.
The LNP proposal would have Cook cover more Gulf Country.