Splitting Port Augusta across two different state electorates would be detrimental, according to Port Augusta City Council CEO John Banks.
The Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission recently travelled to Port Augusta to hear from interested persons and groups in relation to district boundary changes which have been proposed due to a decline in population, in outback electoral districts.
Proposed substantial changes to the districts of Giles, Stuart and Frome, are in discussion, including combining the cities of Port Augusta and Whyalla into one district, dividing Port Augusta between Giles and Stuart and combining Port Augusta and Port Pirie in the district of Stuart.
Mr Banks attended the regional hearing last week, informing representatives that a split would not be desirable. Mayor Brett Benbow agreed stating, “Port Augusta deserves and warrants its own Electoral representation.”
Mr Banks stated “Council believes splitting the municipality to achieve a mathematical quota will ignore significant characteristics of the city and will diminish electoral capacity, representation and recognition.”
“Port Augusta is a major service centre for the region as well as a meeting place for Outback SA residents, we are best served by a single Electorate member, with an estimated $5 billion in private investment in the Port Augusta district alone, the Upper Spencer Gulf is on the cusp of a significant economic transformation.”
Mayor Brett Benbow went on to say, “The proposed Electoral Boundary changes would result in the division of the city, and would not benefit the residents. We have important infrastructure projects, services, investments, health and education departments which would not be benefited by split boundaries”