• Loddon Herald

Seat becomes more urban

THE Ripon electorate will lose part of its rural character under proposed new boundaries recommended last week.

While the southern Loddon communities stay in Ripon, currently held by Liberal MP Louise Staley by a wafer-thin 12 votes, Donald and Charlton have been moved into Mildura by the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

Stawell has been moved into the Lowan electorate.

And the Ballarat suburb of Wendouree has been added to the proposed new boundaries ahead of next year’s state election.

Ms Staley, who has held the seat for the past two terms, said: “The lines on the map don’t fully highlight how different the new seat of Ripon is from the current one.

“When I was first elected in 2014, over 90 per cent of Ripon was rural. On the proposed draft boundaries, about a third is now Ballarat,” she said.

“I will continue to represent all the areas I have been elected to represent, irrespective of the redistribution. I look forward to contesting the next election to continue my work for the people of Ripon.

EBC said in its report that the revised Ripon electorate “would be somewhat more urban than under the existing boundaries, but would still have essentially the same character. Its enrolment would be 8.3 per cent above the average, and likely to remain stable.”

Meanwhile, the commission has recommended no change to the boundaries of Murray Plains held by Nationals’ leader Peter Walsh and including northern communities of the Loddon.

Existing boundaries will also be retained for Bendigo East held by senior Government minister Jacinta Allan and including Serpentine and Dingee.

The commission’s proposed new boundaries are now open for submissions before final adoption.

Seats will be contested under the new boundaries at the state election on November 26 next year.

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