KAP will fight for rural representation


KAP members for Dalrymple Shane Knuth and Mt Isa Rob Katter continue the fight for regional representation in the wake of the electoral redistribution later this year.

With a further three to four rural and regional seats expected to be abolished in the next redistribution the members are concerned expanding already existing seats will make representation even more difficult.

Mr Knuth said the numbers of constituents has risen significantly in the past few decades along with the size of rural seats.

“Back in 1986 we had 89 members of Parliament representing 17,500 constituents, today we still have 89 members but with an average of 33,500 constituents,” Mr Knuth said.

“Under the current system MPs in the regional areas are travelling further and further as the population drains into the urban centers, we have seen regional Queensland done over year in and year out,’

“I am not advocating for an increased amount of politicians, I’m advocating for a democratic system with representatives that are easily accessible to their constituency.”

Mr Knuth said the placement of rural electorates into more populated urban areas is simply undemocratic, and places the focus on Brisbane.

“We are determined to ensure rural and regional Queensland is not robbed of more representation,” Mr Knuth said.

“For me to visit each town in my electorate a week it would take 57 weeks to get back to the original community.”

Mr Katter who represents an electorate of Mount Isa which covers an area of almost twice the size of Victoria and Tasmania combined believes expanding the electorates any further would be unworkable.

“We have to cover huge distances to give each community the time they deserve,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter has driven up to 5,000 km within a week to attend to the same number of constituent issues as his urban counterparts, sometimes sleeping on the side of the road while travelling between towns.

The regional member has also taken on flying lessons in a bid to make up for time lost while driving or out of mobile range.

“Seats are flowing into the sinkhole of Brisbane, while in our rural seats the closest member is a couple of thousand kilometres away,” Mr Katter said.

“The system simply won’t work under the current model, we urgently need to take another look at how our electorates are divided.”


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