Wednesday, 20 August 2008

New electoral boundaries reshape Qld

Queensland's electoral boundaries have been changed to cater for rapid population growth in the state's southeast, creating massive seats in the far north and west.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland on Wednesday announced the final details of the first redistribution of the state's 89 electorates since 1999.

It adds no additional seats, but changes most existing boundaries.

The coalition-held seats of Charters Towers, Cunningham, Darling Downs and Robina, Labor's Fitzroy, Kurwongbah and Mount Gravatt and One Nation's seat of Tablelands will be renamed and significantly redrawn.

The commission said the new seats would be named Dalrymple, Condamine, Buderim, Pine Rivers, Morayfield, Sunnybank, Mermaid Beach and Coomera.

In the commission's report, it says it took account of "communication and travel, physical features and existing boundaries" when preparing the boundaries.

It noted that improved communication meant electorates could be larger without adverse impacts on voters.

"Ways of communication now include widespread use of the internet, email and mobile phones, enabling electors to live further from their elected representative yet still find it relatively easy to seek assistance when required," it wrote.

The commission said it would have been preferable to keep discrete areas of the state together, but the voter population does not fall uniformly to allow this to happen.

"The end result of a careful process of adjustment is that there has been an increase in the number of electorates in the faster growing regions of the southeast, necessitating a reduction in other, less populous areas," the report says.

"All told, there have been many changes to existing boundaries in all regions to enable electoral districts to meld with their neighbouring electorates."

The commission received 852 objections and 58 comments.

The boundaries become final within 21 days.

A state election is expected by September next year.

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