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MacLoran Farm

Livestock SA rejects northern electoral boundary changes

Livestock SA has labelled a proposal to make Port Pirie the regional centre of the electoral district covering the northern outback areas of the state as “nonsense”.

Livestock SA is attending the Port Augusta hearing of the South Australian Electoral Districts

Boundaries Commission today to speak against the proposed boundary changes.

These include substantial changes to the electorates of Giles and Stuart in which the major centres of Port Augusta and Whyalla would be combined into one district. This would leave Port Pirie as the regional centre for the entire outback electoral region.

It would also impact the Frome electorate and areas south of Port Pirie and west of the Mount Lofty Ranges, including Jamestown, Clare and Kapunda, which may be amalgamated to form a mid‐north electorate.

Livestock SA president Geoff Power says the plan would mean the loss of one entire seat, which would mean one less voice for the pastoral region and reduced representation.

“The pastoral region has a critical alliance with Port Augusta as its major service centre and there is no connection with Port Pirie as the proposed alternative base for the region’s Member of Parliament,” Mr Power said.

“The proposal is just a nonsense and does not align at all with what is the practical reality of life in the Far North of South Australia.”

Northern Region chairman Colin Greenfield, Billa Kalina Station, will represent Livestock SA at the hearing.

He says there are a number of services which make Port Augusta the natural hub of the outback region. These include:

‐ The Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Port Augusta hospital play a pivotal role in the rollout and delivery of the region’s health services.

‐ School of the Air. With the outback community growing again, it is a very relevant service and needs to be locally based.

‐ The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Outback Roads division operates from Port Augusta.

‐ The Outback Community Authority, the SA Arid Lands Natural Resource Management Board and the northern arm of the Pastoral Board are all based at Port Augusta.

‐ Livestock is a key commodity of the pastoral region and no livestock agents are based at Port Pirie.

“If Port Augusta is in another electorate it will mean that our vote as business owners and operators and residents of the Far North of SA cannot influence any of the services that are vital to us and are based there,” Mr Greenfield said.

“There would be a major cost to move any of these services that are integral to us to Port Pirie. This would be required under the commission’s proposed changes, if the vote of pastoralists, their families and employees, is not to be compromised.

“Livestock SA strongly urges the South Australian Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission to abandon the proposed boundary changes in the north.”

Published: 27 June 2016