Seat of Grey could expand

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey.

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey.

THE federal electorate of Grey could be affected by a potential redistribution of electoral boundaries, which is expected to be announced on Thursday.

The Australian Electoral Commission is expected to announce whether or not South Australia will lose one of its 11 federal electorates, reducing the number of seats in the state to 10.

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said if the redistribution was confirmed, South Australia was predicted to lose one federal seat bringing the total to 10.

He said following the confirmation, it would take about six months for the redistribution to be completed and if an election was called before the redistribution was finished the electoral division of Grey, including Eyre Peninsula, and the division of Barker, which covers the south-east of the state from Morgan in the north to Port MacDonnell in the south, could be merged.

He said if there was a “snap election”, an interim plan had been made where the two seats with the lowest enrolments - Grey and Barker - would be combined, morphing into a new electorate.

Mr Ramsey said the “already challenging” electorate would grow to cover 98 per cent of the state.

The electorate of Grey already covers about 904,881 square kilometres from the Western Australian, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales borders to Marion Bay on the Yorke Peninsula and Eudunda in the south and includes the Eyre Peninsula.

The electorate of Barker covers about 63,886 square kilometres up to the South Australian border and has been represented by Liberal member Tony Pasin since the 2013 election.

Mr Ramsey said it was likely South Australia would lose a seat and he believed it had been prompted by the state’s lack of population growth.

“The SA population has gone stagnant and Australia has grown strongly,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Twenty-five years ago we had 13 seats in parliament, now we have 11.”

If South Australia is reduced to 10 federal seats the state will return to the number of seats it had at the 1954 election.

Australian Electoral Commission spokesperson Evan Ekin-Smith said, however, all future plans were speculation at this point as decisions would depend on Thursday’s announcement.

“People have been speculating about a mini-redistribution but it’s only a hypothesis,” Mr Ekin-Smith said.