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Andren slams final redistribution: country NSW loses seat.



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Peter Andren MP - Independent Member for Calare

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13 September 2006

Andren slams final redistribution - country NSW loses seat

The AEC’s final redistribution for federal electorates in NSW has ignored the democratic rights of country NSW with the loss of country seat and no further objections will be allowed, according to Peter Andren, Member for Calare.

“The NSW Redistribution Committee says this plan is not significantly different from its original proposal - this is an absolute joke, with Calare and Farrer now stretching to the Queensland border!” Mr Andren said.

“The Commission seems to have completely ignored any principles of community of interest - but if this is what we have to deal with the best bet for those people in the far north-west is an independent representative.

“The loss of one NSW seat should always have resulted in the abolition of a city electorate with minimal disturbance to communities of interest.

“The AEC tells me there are hardly any people in north-west NSW - does this mean those people deserve to be buried in mega-electorates? The only way they will get a fair go in Canberra is through an independent MP dedicated only to the people rather than the distraction of party politics and ambition.

“I do know that splitting Calare in two will spawn two independent MPs in place of the current one.

“I am angered that this has been presented as a done deal by the Commission but it makes me more determined to take on the challenges presented by this redistribution.

“I am yet to decide which seat I will run in, but I can guarantee that the voters in the new seats of Calare and Macquarie, and most likely Parkes, can look forward to strong independent candidates standing for election.

“This is a great opportunity for increased independent federal MPs for NSW, and for country people to receive the sort of representation they have been crying out for in the ten years I have been the Member for Calare.

“Despite indicating earlier this year that further objections and hearings were possible, the Committee’s decision to rule out any further debate is a denial of basic democratic rights,” Mr Andren concluded.

For further information: 02 6277 2341 or 0419 612 891/Tim Mahony - 0427 480 825.

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