News State Western Australia News Voters angry with plan to rename political seats

Voters angry with plan to rename political seats

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WA’s electoral distribution commissioners have been inundated with objections over proposed seat changes to apply at the next state election.

More than 300 objections have been lodged by political parties, MPs, local governments, community groups and individuals expressing a range of concerns.

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In July, the commissioners recommended sweeping changes to WA’s electoral boundaries, with only eight of the 59 Legislative Assembly seats unchanged.

They proposed abolishing the Esperance based seat of Eyre, and creating a new metropolitan seat called Baldivis.

New names were also unveiled for 12 legislative assembly seats, under a policy shift to name electorates after “prominent figures or events in Western Australian history” instead of localities.

In its submission, the Liberal Party expressed its “strong disappointment” in the decision to abolish the seat of Eyre, and was scathing about the new policy for naming seats.

“The Liberal Party has very strong reservations as to the departure from the established tradition of naming electoral districts after localities,” the party’s submission said.

“It is unfortunate to end the established tradition whereby State electorates are named on a geographic basis whereas Federal electorates are predominantly named after individuals.

“Moreover we disagree strongly with the contention ‘that it would be better to avoid the name of a person who had a strong connection with a political party or a group that is still active.’

“This exclusion casts an unintended slight on those former members who have made deep and selfless contributions to the WA community.”

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