MP’s electorate office on the move
WHITSUNDAY MP Jason Costigan wants to move his electorate office from Proserpine to Mackay.
The second-term LNP MP said most of his constituents lived in Mackay’s northern beaches. Nonetheless, Mr Costigan said the location of an MP’s electorate office was a matter for the parliament to decide.
“It is the parliamentary staff who lay out the facts and, in my case, the vast majority of constituents do not live in the Whitsundays,” he said.
“In fact, two-thirds of them live in Mackay, either in the suburbs or in small rural or coastal communities in the Mackay local government area.” However, Neil Laurie, Clerk of the Parliament, confirmed it was Mr Costigan who had made the request for a relocation from Proserpine.
Mr Laurie said approval had been given for the office to be re-located in the 2015/16 financial year.
“(But) relocation may or may not occur, depending on a whole range of factors, including the availability of other suitable locations,” he said.
Mr Laurie said a final decision would be made by either himself or the speaker of the house, taking into account factors such as accessibility for constituents and the views of the member.
“But we haven’t even started looking at this point in time... it’s far too early to say where it would be in the electorate,” he said.
Regardless of where the office is located, Mr Costigan said he would continue to work for the betterment of his community.
Former local LNP chairman and long-time Whitsunday resident Tony Large has his doubts.
“It’s an injustice,” he said. “If the office ends up in Mackay then you’ve got a threehour drive to the Burdekin office, which is the next one - it doesn’t make sense.”
Mr Large said he had concerns about future representation in the Whitsunday region, noting that electoral boundaries were always subject to change as a result of population growth.
IN OFFICE: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan.