Cook to change if big par­ties get their way

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

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.

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