Boundary change

Opposition to a proposal to radically re-draw the electoral boundaries of the seat of Kavel is overwhelming.
Almost a third of all submissions lodged in response to the proposed State-wide electoral boundary reforms related to the proposed Kavel boundary change that would see Mt Barker absorbed by neighboring Hammond.
Of those submissions, none supported the change.
Among the respondents were key stakeholders including the Business Mt Barker group and both the Murray Bridge and Mt Barker councils.
All cited an array of reasons for their opposition, but the responses generally centred around two key points: that the regions have little-to-no association with each other and have vastly different needs.
Mt Barker is a rapidly developing regional centre and the move would mean it would be in a different electorate to Nairne – another booming town within the Mt Barker Council district.
Both towns will require significant infrastructure investment in coming years and the Mt Barker Council believes a change of electoral boundaries would inhibit a co-ordinated approach to development.
While the population of Murray Bridge is also increasing, its rate of development is far slower.
In contrast to the increasingly urban characteristics and challenges facing Mt Barker, the Murray Bridge district is centred around broadacre farming and River Murray tourism.
It is clear from the responses to the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission that neither the Mt Barker nor Murray Bridge communities believe this change would be beneficial to their districts.
The commission has the unenviable task of piecing together the State’s electoral boundaries and it would appear that the proposed Kavel/Hammond realignment would provide a mathematical solution to a voter quota dilemma.
However it is important that boundary redistributions are undertaken in a way that considers the best interests of the impacted communities.
Perhaps it would not be unreasonable for the commission to give serious consideration to reviewing this boundary realignment proposal given the widespread opposition to it.