Future of Mayo

The response to the Australian Electoral Commission’s recent public consultation into the redistribution of SA’s electoral boundaries has clearly demonstrated resolve among the public and political parties to retain the Hills seat of Mayo.
With more than 90% of 211 submissions directly relating to the seat, the Electoral Commission can be left in no doubt about the will of the people.
But keeping the seat of Mayo is also a logical outcome during the enforced shake-up.
The seat is considered to be one of the State’s three rural electorates and, given 30% of the State’s population lives in rural areas, it could be argued that one of the State’s eight metropolitan seats should face the chopping block, rather than one of its rural seats.
There is a strong point of difference between regional and metropolitan areas, with each facing different issues and struggles and often attracting different interest groups.
Trying to equally address the interests of both country and metropolitan communities within one electorate is a difficult balancing act and can often result in one sector of the community feeling overlooked.
Dividing Mayo between the surrounding rural and metropolitan electorates would diminish the voice of a unique and complex community and so it is good to see the major political parties backing the seat to be retained.
Mayo is also the only independently held electorate in SA.
Predictably, the submission by the Liberal Party advocates the removal of the Labor-held seat of Adelaide while conversely Labor is promoting the removal of the Liberal-held seat of Sturt, currently represented by Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne.
Either way it is reassuring that Mayo is not in their sights.
It is important the unique community that encompasses the Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island has its own voice in Canberra.
It’s now up to the Electoral Commission to consider the public’s wishes and the best interests of the State.
But with so much support behind Mayo, saving the seat would seem to be the sensible thing to do.