Tasmanian Electoral Commission to change boundaries, Dorset, Brighton to share electorate

Map sourced from Tasmanian Electoral Commission's website

Map sourced from Tasmanian Electoral Commission's website

Dorset mayor Greg Howard has made a submission to the Electoral Commission about the proposed changes to the Federal Electoral boundaries. 

Changes to electorate divisions in Bass and Lyons would mean Dorset would move into a new Lyons electorate. It has been a member of the current Bass division for more than 100 years.

​Councillor Howard said the community had built substantial ties with Launceston making the region “Launceston-centric”. 

“A large percentage of both inbound and outbound freight travels through Launceston and the two municipalities have joint interests in roads and other infrastructure,” he said. 

“Dorset has been well served by the elected members of Bass, of all political persuasions mainly because of the proximity of our municipality to their electoral base, which usually [has] been in Launceston.” 

The proposal will also see the municipality of Brighton and its entirety move into the division of Lyons. 

Cr Howard said Lyons was already too big. 

“Lyons is a sprawling electorate which elected members, both federally and at state level have constantly bemoaned it’s difficult to manage because of its size and decentralised population.”

He said Dorset doesn’t have the relationship with the Lyons electorate that it does with Launceston.

“Freight goes through Launceston, health services are in Launceston, our football teams play in a Launceston division,” he said. 

Cr Howard said he didn’t believe he was consulted before seeing the advertisement in The Examiner

Dorset Council’s objection was submitted before the June 2 deadline. An objection period was open for comment until June 16. 

“After the comments close, it will go back to the review committee. The same people who voted for the change, are the same people who will vote for the review,” he said. 

“There is no one happy about (the changes) in the North-East. It’s a big mess. I’m sure there would be other ways to fix it.” 

The initial proposal was released in January, with the chair of the redistribution committee Tom Rogers saying the review was required by law.