Rob Wright

Goodbye Rockyview: Changes see suburb in new electorate

ROCKYVIEW resident Marlene Millard is worried the suburb could be forgotten as it merges into an electorate stretching all the way to Mackay.

The Morning Bulletin spoke to several residents, who were all surprised to hear the northern suburbs, including Etna Creek, would move from Keppel to Mirani in a redistribution proposed by Queensland's Electoral Commission.

The commission found Keppel had 37,201 voters, 7.34% above their quota.

The balance of Etna Creek and Rockyview localities will move to Mirani, while the balance of The Common, part of Koongal and part of Lakes Creek will be moved to Rockhampton.

The proposed changes to Rockhampton would see the electorate grow from 33,374 voters to 35,137, taking it from 3.71% below quota to 5.94% above.

Ms Millard said residents should have been able to have a say in the decision, saying Rockyview wouldn't be advantaged by the move away from Keppel.

"I think it's ridiculous,” she said.

"I don't see how we can be represented properly when the member is going to be based up near Mackay.

"I think it's logical that you should be represented by someone closer to where you live.”

As well as absorbing parts of Keppel, Mirani will lose a large portion of the Isaac Regional Council area.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland plans to transfer whole or part of the suburbs west of the Mackay Regional Council boundary, Funnel Creek, Connors River and Isaac River to McMaster.

Part of the West Mackay suburb will also transfer to Mackay.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said the realignment had been expected, with the changes having minimal impact on the electorate.

"We always knew that Keppel would likely have to lose some voters and part of the electorate because it was over the quota,” she said.

"I think it's a sign that Keppel as an electorate, in the sense of Yeppoon and North Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast generally are growing centres, so it was always going to be likely the boundaries were going to have to change to accommodate that growth.

"I'm still 100% committed to working for the people I was elected to represent in the electorate of Keppel and passionate about working for good outcomes for our local community.”

Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne said the adjustments to his electorate were very minor.

"I know there are bigger implications for other electorates in Queensland but for me they're very minor.

"My electorate remains very close to what it was previous and of course I am pleased about that.”

The Morning Bulletin has made attempts to contact Mirani MP Jim Pearce.



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