The NSW Electoral Commission has proposed "minimal" changes to the Riverina NSW electorate boundaries that have been met with approval from some of region's councils
The Commission will exhibit the draft redistribution of NSW Parliament seats at a public hearing in Sydney on April 30, which will also be available via online livestream.
The NSW Constitution requires that boundaries be reviewed to ensure the number of enrolled voters in each electorate does not vary by more than 10 per cent, above or below, the average.
The average is calculated on the projected number of enrolled voters in each area, counted at four years after a general election, which will be 59,244 voters per electorate by 2023.
The Commission stated its approach to changes in rural areas would be to line up electorates and council boundaries as much as possible.
The single change put forward for Wagga was to take over small amount of the Albury electorate between Talbingo and Tumbarumba, with no town moving to a different seat.
That change would give Wagga's electorate 57,343 voters by 2023, a figure that would be 3.21 per cent below the NSW average.
Part of Hilltops council area currently in the Goulburn electorate, representing the former Boorowa Council, would move into the Cootamundra electorate.
Coolamon Shire submitted a written submission on the draft changes to "express its agreement" with proposals for the Cootamundra Electorate.
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"Whilst the issue of the slow reduction in rural Electorates is still a concern, the proposed changes have managed to maintain existing rural representation for the present," Coolamon's submission stated.
Narrandera Shire also submitted its "strong support" for the proposal that would keep the council within the Cootamundra electorate.
"The proposed boundaries reflect the community of interest, capacity for effective representation and the alignment of local government and electoral district boundaries," the submission stated.
Temora Shire submitted that adding the remainder of Hilltops council to Cootamundra was "sensible and strongly supported".
The Commission decided against bigger changes in the Riverina due to low projected growth for the number of enrolled voters over the next two years.
"Little elector growth is expected in the western half of NSW, with the greatest decreases expected in the Riverina and along the Murray," The Commission's draft boundary report stated.
"Elector growth that does occur is expected to be focused upon the regional centres of Wagga and Albury, with some gains expected in Moama and Corowa.
"The Redistribution Panel proposes no enrolment change to the electoral district of Barwon, and only minimal adjustment to the boundaries of the electoral district of Wagga."
Part of Murrumbidgee council area currently within the Albury electorate, representing the former Jerilderie Shire Council, would move to the Murray electorate.
Murrumbidgee Council used its submission to object to the proposal to move Jerilderie, claiming that the Murray electorate was already too big without adding another town and "considerable square kilometres".
"Jerilderie, and its estimated 923 electors, have, for a considerable number of years, been in the Albury electorate, which has serviced the needs of the area very well," the submission stated.
"Jerilderie has a natural affiliation with Albury, as the major medical and service centre, with post, parts, groceries and couriers servicing the Jerilderie region originating from Albury."
A Murray electorate voted also provided a comment to the Commission opposing the change and argued that a larger electorate would deter some candidates from standing for election.
"The extension would enlarge the area to greater than the size of Scotland and as a result would exacerbate the physical difficulties of providing full representation," the voter commented.
"It is discriminatory as the elected member needs to be rich enough to have a plane with substantial associated costs and degree of difficulty, to service this wide and physically challenging environment."
The major political parties had proposed much bigger changes to the Wagga, Cootamundra and Murray electorate boundaries when the Commission first called for submissions last year.
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