In the lead up to this year's Federal election the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has determined that New South Wales (NSW) will lose one federal electoral division while Western Australia (WA) will gain an extra federal electoral division.
As part of the AEC’s redistribution of federal boundaries in NSW, the augmented Electoral Commission has announced the names and boundaries of the 47 federal electoral divisions in NSW.
This announcement confirmed that the proposed federal electorate of Parkes will see a substantial increase in its geographic size, increasing from almost one-third of the area of NSW to half of the state.
The changes will see the proposed Parkes electorate lose residents in the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Wellington and Mid?Western Regional Councils, with both LGAs being transferred to the proposed electorate of Calare, currently held by Nationals MP the Hon John Cobb.
With this loss, the proposed Parkes electorate will now include the LGAs of Broken Hill, Central Darling and Unincorporated NSW. The LGA of Gunnedah will also now be part of the proposed Parkes electorate.
It was initially suggested that part of the LGA of Carrathool be included in the proposed Parkes electorate and that the LGA of Gwydir be transferred to the proposed electorate of New England.
The announcement from the augmented Electoral Commission of NSW confirmed this is no longer the case with the entirety of the Shire of Carrathool to be located in the proposed electorate of Farrer and the northern part of the Shire of Gwydir to be located in the proposed electorate of Parkes.
Regardless of the significant changes to the proposed Parkes electorate, I remain committed to contesting this seat at the next Federal election and will be running for pre-selection for the Nationals.
I am very aware that representing an electorate the area of half of NSW presents many challenges. I would consider it an absolute honour to be given the opportunity to tackle these issues and represent the people of the proposed Parkes electorate.
I will however be saddened to lose the great communities of Wellington, Mudgee and Gulgong in this redistribution. I have very much enjoyed representing these towns. I know that you will be in good hands with John Cobb; he is an excellent Member of Parliament and a great bloke.
I will also be sad to lose the Bingara community to the proposed electorate of New England. I know they will be well represented by Nationals MP the Hon Barnaby Joyce.
I am also looking forward to the opportunity to reengage with the community of Gunnedah and to meet with and listen to the Far Western NSW communities including Broken Hill, Menindee and Wilcannia.
It has been a great privilege to represent a third of NSW and it will be an even greater honour to be given the opportunity to represent half of NSW.