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AEC must visit rural NSW.



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Media Contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 0408 019 537 Website: www.sandymacdonald.com.au

MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Sandy Macdonald Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate

AEC MUST VISIT RURAL NSW

NSW Nationals Senator Sandy Macdonald is calling on the Redistribution Committee of the Australian Electoral Commission to visit rural NSW and hold public hearings regarding the redrawing of Federal boundaries and the proposed abolition of the electorate of Gwydir.

"There have been 1,989 submissions to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in relation to their draft boundaries for NSW, the majority of which are opposed to the abolition of a rural seat," Senator Macdonald said.

"More than 8,500 people signed a petition to save the seat of Gwydir."

"The AEC now need to face the people their decisions will affect and hear the concerns directly from rural and regional community members," he said.

"The proposal by the AEC to abolish Gwydir is an insult to rural and regional NSW and must be reversed. We must fight to retain rural representation in the Australian Parliament."

"The proposed electorate of Parkes is 379,474 square kilometres in size and covers 19 Local Government areas. The electorate would be larger than Japan or Germany."

"The Nationals will continue to fight for the best interests of rural residents."

"I hope the AEC will face the rural residents of NSW to hear how their proposal will affect rural residents," he said.

Ends…Tuesday 8 August 2006