The new Gympie electorate, as announced by the Queensland Redistribution Commission.
The new Gympie electorate, as announced by the Queensland Redistribution Commission. Contributed

We keep Rainbow Beach in popular vote ruling

QUEENSLAND'S biggest electoral shake-up in more than 30 years has been welcomed across the Gympie region, nowhere more so than at Rainbow Beach.

"Thank God,” said Rainbow Beach business icon Ruth Modin, when she learned Rainbow Beach and Inskip Point will now remain in Gympie electorate.

Rainbow Beach business icon Ruth Modin was overjoyed.
Rainbow Beach business icon Ruth Modin was overjoyed. Rowan Schindler

Commerce and Tourism Association president Mark Beech applauded Queensland Redistribution efforts to accommodate public concerns.

Mark Beech said the Commission had listened.
Mark Beech said the Commission had listened. Rowan Schindler

Beach residents had responded with shock and outrage at early plans, announced in February, to cut them off from the rest of the Cooloola Coast and include them in Noosa, where they feared their interests would be lost in the voting crowd.

Tin Can Bay residents pointed out that an electoral boundary along their shoreline, as originally put forward, would put Bay residents in one electorate and the Bay itself - including its dolphins, jetties and water craft - would be in another.

Businesses and residents were "stunned and concerned” according to Gympie MP Tony Perrett, who yesterday welcomed the final news.

Of 1546 submissions over 89 Queensland electorates, roughly one in 12 (or about 120) were from Gympie electorate, almost all connected to Rainbow Beach.

Tiaro voters won their battle to be included with Maryborough, but Bauple will still be part of Gympie, as will near-Gympie areas such as Curra and Gunalda, formerly part of Maryborough.

The Commission had to combine one vote-one value principles with community of interest issues to succeed.

"The commissioners listened to what Queenslanders had to say and, where it was possible, we acted on community interests and altered proposed boundaries,” Commission chair and retired District Court judge Hugh Botting said.

What the chairman said in full:

The Queensland Redistribution Commission (QRC) has delivered its final determination on the State electoral

boundaries.

In February, QRC unveiled the most significant realignment in more than 30 years after Parliament decided to

increase the number of electorates from 89 to 93.

QRC Chairman Hugh Botting said QRC had been able to make some changes to its original proposal based on

suggestions received during public consultation periods.

"The commissioners listened to what Queenslanders had to say and, where it was possible, we acted on

community interests and altered proposed boundaries,” said Mr Botting, a retired District Court Judge.

The Sunshine Coast suburbs of Parrearra, Minyama and Buddina will remain in Kawana instead of shifting to the

Buderim electorate, and Buderim now includes Sippy Downs and Palmview.

"Rainbow Beach, Inskip and Cooloola will remain in Gympie while the majority of Pomona moves to Noosa.

"In western Queensland, the Boulia shire will stay in Gregory instead of joining Traegar.”

Mr Botting said QRC was confident in its placement of the new electorates as well as other notable changes

including the removal of Dalrymple and the expansion of Traegar.

"The Commission's number one priority was the number of voters in each electorate because that's quite simply

the law.

"Every district must contain relatively the same number of electors so that each vote carries equal weight at the

ballot box.”

The Redistribution Commission also acted on public submissions regarding electorate names.

"Burdekin will keep that name instead of McMaster, Glasshouse remains instead of Tibrogargan and the Pine

Rivers electorate lives on,” Mr Botting said.

"Some residents feared changing Pine Rivers to D'Aguilar could see them earn the unfortunate nickname of Dags

- but of course there were other more pressing reasons.”

Today's report marks QRC's final involvement in the redistribution process which now moves to a three-week

appeal period during which electors may challenge the realignments in the Supreme Court.

If there is no legal appeal the redistribution will be final on June 16.

The Queensland Redistribution Commission's final determination can be viewed online at

https://boundaries.ecq.qld.gov.au

Gympie Times


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