Gympie Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett
Gympie Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett Renee Pilcher

MP calls for more electorates in State Government

GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett has backed a plan to give Queensland more state MPs, but yesterday it seemed a lonely position to hold.

His only support seemed to come from the Local Government Association of Queensland, which called for an unspecified increase in the number of electorates, because of population rises.

ABC online reported LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam saying it was "time parliament caught up with expanding electorates.

"We believe there should be more seats, but it would be up to parliament."

Everyone else in politics able to be contacted by The Gympie Times yesterday thought the idea was stupid.

That included Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, whose electorate takes in most areas on Gympie's north side.

"More resources for the politicians we have now would help us represent more people," he said.

The LGAQ's constituents in Gympie regional council shared the doubts.

Mayor Mick Curran said, "I think if they are talking about representation, maybe they should go out to the community and ask them.

Mayor Mick Curran
Mayor Mick Curran Greg Miller

"I think they would get an overwhelming response that we're over governed and have too many now."

Cr Wayne Sachs was more direct. "It's bloody ridiculous," he said. "I think they've got rocks in their heads.

"No personal reflection on any individual MPs, but it's stupid. They're mad," he said.

Cr Julie Walker said she had never served in state parliament, "but do we need more?

"When I was first on council we had 13 councillors in Widgee Shire, now we have nine for a much bigger area. We seem to get by."

Former state political candidate Cr Rae Gate said she was surprised anyone would think of having more politicians. "Who's going to pay for it? Taxpayers I guess - not going to happen."

Does Queensland need more state MPs and electorates?

This poll ended on 01 September 2015.

Current Results

Yes, we need more politicians on the ground making sure everyone's looked after.

10%

No, it will just be a waste of taxpayer's money.

51%

MORE politicians? Spare us, please.

37%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Cr Ian Petersen said, "I personally believe we don't need any more state politicians.

"Probably more importantly, I don't believe the LGAQ should be meddling in it anyway. They should be getting on with restoring representative democracy in their own back yard, because this has been eroded by Local Government Act changes they have supported."

Cr Perrett said the idea, put forward by his party, "is about providing fairness and equity in representation for residents of regional and rural Queensland.

"The last review of seat numbers occurred nearly 30 years ago, and since then the average number of electors has almost doubled from 17,000 to 33,000.

"Some of our seats in Queensland are more than twice the size of Victoria and are likely to get larger."

Gympie Times

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