A POLITICAL brawl is looming over a push to shift the boundaries of the Riverina federal electorate and rename it after Australia’s greatest cricketer.
The Labor Party has lodged a submission with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to radically alter the seat of Riverina and rename it Bradman.
Under the proposal, the western end of the electorate, including Griffith, Leeton and Narrandera, would be lost and Parkes, Forbes, Young and Gundagai would be included.
Cootamundra, the birth town of Don Bradman, would also form part of the new Bradman seat.
Riverina MP Michael McCormack said it would be a “dreadful shame” if Labor’s proposal was adopted.
“There are so many synergies and commonalities of interest between the western and eastern Riverina,” Mr McCormack said.
“Health, sporting, social – all those things that bring about the fabric of a region.
“This seems like change for the sake of change and it would be a dreadful shame.”
Wagga Labor branch secretary Tim Kurylowicz said while the loss of the Riverina name was regrettable, the party’s proposed boundary changes would facilitate better governance.
“Under the current boundaries, the electorate stretches from Hillston to Tumbarumba – that’s a five-hour drive,” he said.
“Labor’s proposal means the longest drive would be from Wagga to Parkes, which is about three hours.
“There’s pros and cons to every change but the current seat is incredibly diverse geographically and in terms of its agricultural industries.
“New boundaries would improve that and enable more effective representation.”
The Liberal and National parties have also lodged separate submissions, both retaining the Riverina name.
Under the Nationals’ proposal, the electorate would add Cootamundra and Young but lose Tumut and Tumbarumba.
The Liberal Party has suggested lifting the boundary up to include Parkes and Forbes and also dump Tumut and Tumbarumba.
The AEC is expected to make an announcement on the new electorate later this year.
Electoral boundaries are determined by a distribution process which provides for an approximate equal number of electors in each electoral district.
As the national and local population rises and falls, the electoral commission is forced to move boundaries accordingly.
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