NSW Labor and the Greens have welcomed the proposed inclusion of Ballina in the federal electorate of Richmond following redistribution of NSW’s electoral boundaries last week.
But they have rued the loss of the alternative-lifestyle centre of Nimbin to the seat of Page, with the Greens considering a challenge to the Australian Electoral Commission’s draft redistribution aimed at reducing the number of NSW seats in the House of representatives from 48 to 47.
NSW Greens candidate for Richmond, Dawn Walker, said ‘it’s true that we are looking closely at the proposed boundary changes and would prefer Nimbin to remain in Richmond’.
‘We do however, welcome the Australian Electoral Commission’s decision to expand the boundaries of the electorate to include the township of Ballina,’ Ms Walker said.
Ballina is considered much more conservative than Nimbin, which recorded one of the biggest Green votes at the last election.
Sitting Richmond MP, Labor’s Justine Elliot, said ‘Nimbin is an exciting eclectic community and I would very much like Nimbin to remain in the Richmond electorate’.
‘Ballina is an exciting vibrant community and I’m committed to working hard for them to make sure we get our fair share from Canberra,’ Mrs Elliot, who has held the seat for 11 years, said.
Ms Walker told Echonetdaily that ‘Off the back of winning the state seat of Ballina at the 2015 state election, the Greens have demonstrated we are a strong voice for our community who demand better representation’.
’Communities in our region have shown that they trust the Greens to represent them at the state and local levels. The seat of Richmond in the federal Parliament is a natural extension,’ she said.
‘With this expanded electorate I look forward to representing the diversity of interests in the seat of Richmond. It’s a community I’m proud to be a part of and which I’m excited to represent.’
The next federal election will be held before January 2017. The AEC has set November 3 as the deadline for objections redistribution proposals.
Once a redistribution is final, the AEC automatically transfers existing elector enrolments to the correct electoral division.