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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6709

Mr HAASE (12:32 PM) —I rise today to bring the attention of the House to the fact that the original Federation division of Kalgoorlie, created of course in 1901, will at the proroguing of this parliament disappear from the list of electoral divisions across Australia. Back in 1901 the electorate of Kalgoorlie was one of just five Western Australian seats that were part of the 75 seats across Australia. Since 1901 there have been a number of outstanding members representing the seat of Kalgoorlie. From 1901 to 1903 there was Mr JW Kirwan for the Free Trade Party. He was followed by Mr CE Frazer of the ALP, who was followed in 1913 by Mr H Mahon for the ALP. In 1917 there was Mr E Heitmann for the National Party. In 1919 Mr H Mahon was back again. In 1920 there was Mr G Foley and in 1922 there was Mr AE Green for the ALP. From 1940 for a period of 18 years there was Mr H Johnson for the ALP. In 1958 he was replaced by Mr P Browne for the Liberal Party—for the first time there was a Liberal member for Kalgoorlie. In 1961 there was Mr F Collard. From 1975 till 1980 Mr J Cotter, who was know as Mick Cotter, served for the Liberal Party. Then Mr Graeme Campbell served for 18 years, firstly, as an ALP member and, secondly, as an Independent. Of course, I took the seat in 1998, 12 years ago.

Kalgoorlie is an electorate that is enormous. Its area today is some 2.3 million square kilometres. It was a fraction of that size when it was first formed in 1901. It has the auspicious title of being the largest electorate in the world today. To give an idea of comparative size to those who have no idea of the vastness of Australia, it occupies approximately a third of the Australian landmass. It is in contrast to the smallest electorate of Australia, which is Wentworth. Wentworth would fit into the seat of Kalgoorlie some 88,472 times. Of course, because that is the case, as member for Kalgoorlie I have one more staff member just to do the job. We are all incredibly capable.

One of the outstanding representatives for the seat of Kalgoorlie was, of course, Mr Mahon, who became the Postmaster-General at one stage of his career. Another thing about the seat of Kalgoorlie, and more specifically the location of Kalgoorlie, is that it was the population of Kalgoorlie in 1901 that justified the formation of the Federation. Federation was looking a little shaky there for a while because Western Australia, of course, was not particularly interested in giving up its direct connection to the UK, but it was the overwhelming vote of the population of Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie and Boulder that swayed that final decision. So, for the education of the House, it is reasonable to suggest that it was because of the population of Kalgoorlie-Boulder that the Federation was formed in the first place.

I remind the House again that as of the proroguing of this parliament, whenever that may occur, the name Kalgoorlie will forever leave the list of Federation seats. That is indeed a sad day. We are moving on, and the area will in the future be represented by the seat of O’Connor and the newly created seat of Durack, which, God willing, I will be very, very proud to represent.