REGION – Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie said her electorate of Mayo should not be the seat cut from South Australia’s tally of 11 seats following the determination by the Australian Electoral Commissioner (AEC) this month.
Due to population shifts, the AEC found that a redistribution of federal electoral divisions would be required in Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
South Australian seats would decrease from 11 to 10, while Victoria and the ACT would each gain a seat to increase to 38 and three seats respectively.
"This is also a sad day for South Australia," Ms Sharkie said.
“No matter which electorate is removed, it is a sign that our presence on the national stage is diminishing.
“I’m totally opposed to Mayo being absorbed into other electorates to accommodate the ruling of the AEC and my community has made it extremely clear to me during the AEC’s deliberations that they are opposed to losing the seat.
“Mayo is a regional area and a very cohesive area with many communities of interest. According to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, Mayo is the happiest electorate in Australia, and I believe that much of this is because of our high rate of volunteering and connection to our community.”
Latest ABS volunteering data shows more than 29 per cent of people in Mayo volunteer in their community compared with the state average of just over 21 per cent and the national average of 19 per cent.
“The feedback I have received from many residents is they do not want their rural area just tacked onto a metropolitan electorate where their experiences and interests will be swallowed up by the urban majority,” Ms Sharkie said.
“Mayo has two of the fastest growing population areas in South Australia in Mount Barker and on the south coast.”
The Electoral Commission has started the federal redistribution processes in Victoria, SA and the ACT, which will include community consultation and a decision by July 2018.