WESTERN AUSTRALIA will lose a seat in federal parliament under an Australian Electoral Commission rejig on July 3.
Federal Labor MP Patrick Gorman, whose division Perth is safe from the chop, says it’s a huge shakeup.
“For the first time since Federation, WA is going to lose a federal seat,” Mr Gorman says.
The numbers of seats each state gets is based on population and Victoria’s set to get a new seat at WA’s expense.
ABC election expert Antony Green says boundary changes will be “enormous” and predicts Burt, Hasluck, or Tangney might go, with Burt a prime candidate as it was only created in 2016.
Mr Gorman says WA needs strong representation to tackle issues like unemployment (his most recent speech in parliament urged the Morrison government not to abruptly cut off JobKeeper in September).
Mr Gorman says one upside is he’ll get 7,000 new voters in his electorate.
No border proposals are out yet, but Perth might edge northwards to take in some suburbs it used to hold.
“I love the diversity of the electorate,” he says. “Adding 7,000 people, you’re going to add more diversity, which is a good thing.”
The AEC’s formal decision is due July 3 and then consultation starts on potential boundary re-drawings, and renaming electorates is also up for debate.
Mr Gorman says he likes his electorate’s name. “It’s a Federation seat and it’s stood the test of time,” he says, adding other capitals have a seat named for them, and it’d put Perth at a disadvantage advocacy-wise if the name didn’t match.
Tradition follows that after the death of a former prime minister, a seat is named for them, and Mr Gorman says “I’d love to see a seat named after Bob Hawke here in WA.
“We know it’s where he developed his love for politics. We know that Bob Hawke, without Hazel, probably would never become prime minister, [and] he met Hazel in WA.”
By DAVID BELL