Tailem Bend will get a new MP in 2022
But Murray Bridge has not been short-changed by the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission after all.
Murray Bridge will not be drowned out at the next state election after all, but Tailem Bend will get a new MP.
A proposed boundary change which would have lumped Murray Bridge and Mount Barker together in one electorate, Hammond, has been scrapped by South Australia's Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission.
However, Tailem Bend will shift out of the electorate, which is currently represented by Liberal MP Adrian Pederick.
The entire Coorong district will instead fall into MacKillop.
Its MP is currently Naracoorte-based Liberal Nick McBride, a grazier and past president of the Grassland Society of Southern Australia.
Hammond will also lose the Karoonda East Murray and Southern Mallee districts; and gain Strathalbyn and surrounds.
Mr Pederick’s seat is expected to remain very safe for the Liberals, by a margin of 15.9 per cent, according to the commission.
The Member for Hammond welcomed the final result.
He said he looked forward to representing Strathalbyn once again, as he had before 2016; and thanked the Mallee’s communities, including his home town of Coomandook, for their years of support.
“Overall it appears to be a pleasing result, and gives the (Premier Steven) Marshall Liberal government an even opportunity to retain government at the 2022 state election,” he said.
Connections between Murraylands towns remain important, Mayor and CEO say
The commission's original plan would have shifted 10,000 Murraylands voters into new state electorates.
In particular, grouping Murray Bridge with Mount Barker might have reduced the river city’s influence in Parliament – and even its ability to win state funding.
In a submission to the commission, Mayor Brenton Lewis and council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said Murray Bridge was the Murraylands’ regional centre and needed to stay with other river communities.
“While Murray Bridge and Mount Barker adjoin, the proposed redistribution (would) result in confusion for electors and reduce the ability to advocate for our community and the wider Murraylands community,” they said.
“(It) may result in financial support and social services being reduced to communities that already have collaborative partnerships and support mechanisms in place.
“In regional and rural communities, the importance of strong and collaborative connections ... is paramount.”
Anyway, more boundary changes would only be needed as the populations of both centres grew, they said, noting that 3000 people were expected to move to Murray Bridge by 2030.
By law, each state electorate must contain roughly the same number of voters to make sure every South Australian’s opinion holds the same weight on election day.
This year, the magic number for each of the state’s 47 electorates was 26,062.