Murray Bridge, Mount Barker lumped together by electoral boundaries commission

Tailem Bend, Mannum and the Mallee are to be kicked out of Hammond and the Murraylands split between three electorates at the 2022 SA election.

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Almost 10,000 Murraylands voters will find themselves in a new electorate at the 2022 South Australian election.

The region will be heavily affected by new electorate boundaries drafted by the Electoral District Boundaries Commission and published on Friday.

Instead of Murray Bridge, Mannum, Tailem Bend and Karoonda being represented by one MP – Adrian Pederick, the Liberal Member for Hammond – the towns would be divided into three electorates.

Murray Bridge would have to play second fiddle to Mount Barker in an oddly shaped electorate, still called Hammond, pictured in red on the map above.

A majority of its population would be in the Adelaide Hills, meaning candidates would no longer have to win Murray Bridge to win the seat.

Mannum and Karoonda would both get a new MP for the third election in a row – they would become part of the Riverland electorate of Chaffey, currently represented by Liberal MP Tim Whetstone.

The entire Coorong district would join MacKillop, Liberal MP Nick McBride’s South East seat.

In total, more than half of the current voters in Hammond – those who live within the blue area above – will end up in a different electorate.

The boundary changes are not likely to affect local election results.

Even in the most marginal of the three seats, Hammond, the commission expected two-thirds of voters would preference the Liberal Party.

However, it could be argued that Hammond should get a new name, the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission report suggested.

“The commission has no particular view one way or another on this issue,” the commission said.

“However, if any interested party wishes to make a suggestion ... the commission will consider them.”

Adrian Pederick will seek re-election in 2022

Mr Pederick, pictured, confirmed that he would seek a fifth term as the Member for Hammond at the 2022 election, pending his preselection by the Liberal Party.

He had not given any thought to contesting MacKillop, he said, even though his home at Coomandook will shift into that electorate.

“We’re all comfortable looking after our patches, Nick (McBride), Dan (Cregan, Member for Kavel), Tim (Whetstone) and I,” he said.

“I’m more than happy to serve the constituency of Hammond, wherever it lands.”

Voters would still be free to contact the MP they were most familiar with, he said, even if they found themselves in another electorate.

He said the boundary changes were significant, but a logical consequence of the declining population in country areas.

Each electorate needed to have roughly the same number of people in it to ensure everyone was represented fairly; that generally meant that country electorates would push towards the city.

Unless the party had other ideas, he said, he did not see any need to protest against the draft changes.

“It’s just the way it is,” he said.

“It will be a new and exciting area (for me) to visit and get involved in.”

Image, photo: Peri Strathearn.

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