Piccoli slams new borders

MEMBER for the ill-fated Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli has slammed the revised electoral boundaries, which effectively wipe his electorate off the map, as "an incredible disappointment".

Released by the NSW Electoral Commission last week, the new boundaries will see Murrumbidgee swallowed up by Cootamundra and Murray electorates, to make way for the new electorate of Newtown in Sydney.

To keep his position, Mr Piccoli will be forced to challenge either member for Burrinjuck Katrina Hodgkinson for preselection in Cootamundra, or the member for the now-abolished Murray-Darling, John Williams, for endorsement in Murray.

The changes will come into play following the next state election in 2015.

The move to reduce the number of seats in western NSW by abolishing Murrumbidgee has been lambasted as a "typically Sydney-centric decision" by Mr Piccoli.

"It is a stupid decision that didn't need to happen," Mr Piccoli said.

"In far western NSW you have some of the most complex economic, social and environmental issues and the representation goes from three to two."

Mr Piccoli said the people of western NSW will be the biggest losers from the decision.

"Two people now represent 50 per cent of NSW and 91 represent the other 50 per cent," he said.

"I am devastated that yet another western NSW seat has been rubbed out, given the widespread opposition to the move in its draft form.

"The Electoral Commission did not need to make Barwon and the new seat of Murray so large, they did so deliberately," Mr Piccoli said.

"They did not need to wipe out this historically significant seat, and did not need to replace it with an electorate that is practically three times larger."

He said geographically, the two reconfigured electorates accounted for half the state.

"All of our western NSW constituents, whether they be in Barellan or Wentworth, deserve better much better than what has been decided on in this instance," he said.


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