Ballina prepares as electoral redistribution looms
NEWS is filtering through to most Ballina residents about the proposed electoral boundary redistribution that would have some Page residents voting for candidates in the Richmond electorate.
The Northern Star asked people on Ballina's streets on Monday if they knew of the proposed change announced last Friday by the Australian Electoral Commission AEC.
The redistribution comes after the AEC announced it was abolishing the NSW seat of Hunter and creating a new Western Australian seat of Burt.
In making its proposal, the AEC's Redistribution Committee considered enrolment numbers, public suggestions and comments on suggestions, communities of interest, communication and transport links, geographic or constructed features able to be used as readily identifiable electoral boundaries, and the current federal electoral boundaries.
Prior to the proposed redistribution, Ballina residents voted for the current Page Member Kevin Hogan, who ousted Labor's Janelle Saffin at the 2013 Federal Election.
Now their sitting member could be former police officer, Labor's Justine Elliot.
The potential changes mean voters in Ballina would join Byron and Tweed Shires in deciding between Labor incumbent Justine Elliot, Greens candidate Dawn Walker, and whoever the Nationals decide to field.
The new seat of Page will follow the council border between Lismore and Tweed, and Lismore and Byron.
This would impact Nimbin voters, who have traditionally been part of the seat of Richmond.
The green-leaning Nimbin votes would now form part of the tally in Page.
That means all residents of the Lismore local government area would vote in Page if the changes are made official.
According to the AEC a total of 944,592 electors, or 19.42% of electors in NSW, would change from their current federal electoral division under the proposed redistribution.
The Illawarra electorate of Throsby is proposed to become Whitlam, to honour former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
Once a redistribution is final, the AEC automatically transfers existing elector enrolments, where required, to the correct electoral division.
The proposed electoral redistribution maps can be found here: http://www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/2014/nsw/proposed-report/maps/a4/page.pdf
WE ASKED: Did you know you could be voting for a new member after the electoral boundary redistribution in Page and Richmond? Do you know who the current member for Richmond is?
ARYA FRERIECHS, of Ballina: I didn't know about the electoral boundary redistribution but I do know who Justine Elliot is.
WIN CLARK, of Ballina: I heard about it on the radio this morning. I'll have to wait and see if I vote for Justine Elliot in the next election.
CHRIS FORSYTH, of Ballina: No I didn't know about the electoral boundary redistribution. I don't know who Justine Elliot is.
MARY RICHARDS, of Ballina: We heard a rumour we'd lose Page living in Ballina. I know who Justine Elliot is but I won't vote for a Labor member.
WENDY HEARNE, of Ballina: I heard about the redistribution in Saturday's Northern Star. I was quite surprised. I do know who Justine Elliot is.