Districts in the Country Regions

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Agricultural Region
Mining and Pastoral Region
South West Region

The configuration of the three country regions has been materially affected by the decision to reduce the number of districts from 17 to 16. The alteration of regional boundaries between the country regions is largely a consequence of that decision.

Table 4:  Numbers of parliamentary representatives and electors by Country regions after final boundary changes

Country region

No. of Legislative Council representatives per region

(6 per region)

No. of Legislative Assembly representatives per region

(1 per district)

Number of electors at close of electoral roll1
after final boundary changes

Area
(sq km)

Agricultural2

6

4

101,229

281,264

Mining and Pastoral2

6

4

96,894

2,200,083

South West

6

8

205,270

44,870

Total2

18

16

403,393

2,526,217

Average district enrolment – Country

 

 

25,212

 

VFADE3

 

 

+ 1.16%

 

1     Electoral roll closed on 9 March 2015.

2     Includes Large District Allowance.

3     Variation from Average District Enrolment at 9 March 2015 includes large district allowances for districts in Mining and Pastoral Region and Agricultural Region.

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Agricultural Region

There will be four districts comprising the Agricultural Region, the same number following the 2011 division:

Central Wheatbelt

Gains:                     Shires of Boddington, Pingelly, Wandering, Westonia and Yilgarn

Geraldton            No change

Moore                    No change

Roe

Gains:                     Shires of Esperance and Ravensthorpe

Cedes:                    Shires of Boddington, Jerramungup, Pingelly, Plantagenet and Wandering, and the remainder of Stirling Range National Park locality

Agricultural Region gains the Shires of Esperance, Ravensthorpe, Westonia and Yilgarn from the Mining and Pastoral Region, and cedes the Shires of Jerramungup and Plantagenet, and the remainder of Stirling Range National Park locality to the South West Region.

This reapportionment means that all districts are within the permitted tolerance range as indicated in Table 5.

Table 5:  Agricultural Region and Districts - Number of electors per district after final boundary changes

District

Electors
(after final boundary changes)

Large District Allowance (LDA)

Electors
(including LDA after final boundary changes)

Variation
from ADE1

Area
(sq km)

Central Wheatbelt

25,500

1,519

27,019

+ 8.41%

101,240

Geraldton

23,205

n.a.

23,205

- 6.89%

1,798

Moore

23,894

n.a.

23,894

- 4.13%

71,817

Roe (formerly Wagin)2

25,515

1,596

27,111

+ 8.78%

106,409

Total

98,114

3,115

101,229

 

281,264

1     Average District Enrolment at 9 March 2015 includes large district allowance for some districts in the Agricultural Region.

2     Note that boundaries of Roe do not correspond with former district of Roe.

Agricultural Region Map (PDF, 1.39 MB)

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Commentary

Central Wheatbelt - affecting Moore and Roe (Wagin)

A number of objectors opposed the inclusion of the Shires of Dowerin, Goomalling, Koorda and Wongan-Ballidu in the district of Moore rather than in the district of Central Wheatbelt. For example, the Shire of Koorda indicated that it was a member of a number of regional organisations all of which involved other shires to its east (and situated in Central Wheatbelt) and it was closely aligned to the regional centre of Northam (again, in Central Wheatbelt). Further, Moore included a substantial coastal area and shires with coastal towns. The Shire of Koorda indicated that the issues facing it were ‘not similar in any way to the coastal plains’.

The Commissioners were persuaded of the merit of the community of interest arguments expressed or implicit in the objections and have decided to leave the Shires of Dowerin, Goomalling, Koorda and Wongan-Ballidu in Central Wheatbelt rather than transfer them to Moore. However, the Commissioners had proposed that Central Wheatbelt would gain the Shires of Yilgarn and Westonia (from Eyre) and the Shires of Boddington, Wandering, Pingelly, Cuballing, Williams and West Arthur (from Wagin). If all of these 12 Shires were added to Central Wheatbelt it would fall outside the permitted tolerance range and it was therefore necessary to find offsets to reduce numbers. It was not possible to include all of the Shires of Boddington, Wandering, Pingelly, Cuballing, Williams and West Arthur in Roe because to do so would take Roe outside the permitted tolerance range. The Commissioners decided that the best balance between recognition of communities of interest and the dictates of numbers was achieved by including the Shires of Cuballing, West Arthur and Williams (the southernmost of the six Shires) in the district of Roe and including the other three (along with the Shires of Dowerin, Goomalling, Koorda and Wongan-Ballidu) in Central Wheatbelt.

Even with that offset Central Wheatbelt will have a VFADE of + 8.41 per cent. That is high but given trends of demographic change the Commissioners consider that it is at an acceptable level. A consequence of this decision is that Central Wheatbelt will have an LDA. The Commissioners will return to the LDA question a little later in the report.

The decision also means that Moore will be unchanged from the 2011 division boundaries. It will have a VFADE of - 4.13 per cent but, as the local member pointed out in his objection, the trends of demographic change in the Shires of Toodyay and Chittering and along parts of the coastal strip suggest population increases in future years.

Geraldton - affecting North West Central, Moore and Central Wheatbelt

An objector suggested that the remainder of the Shire of Northampton be transferred from the district of Moore to the district of North West Central, all of the City of Greater Geraldton and the Shires of Chapman Valley and Irwin be brought together in the district of Geraldton, and that there be a greater transfer of Shires between Moore and Central Wheatbelt.

The Commissioners were not persuaded that it was appropriate to adopt these suggestions. There were three main reasons. First, it involves a significant change in regional boundaries that had not been canvassed widely. Secondly, the predominant land use in most of the Shire of Northampton is devoted to cropping and grazing and it would not be an easy fit with the pastoral areas of North West Central. Thirdly, and as discussed in relation to Central Wheatbelt, there are material community of interest arguments militating against the transfer of shires away from Central Wheatbelt and into Moore. There will be further comment on this matter in the context of changes to districts in the Mining and Pastoral Region.

The decision means that the boundaries of the district of Geraldton will be unchanged from those set in the 2011 division.

Roe (Wagin) - affecting Kalgoorlie and Central Wheatbelt

Many of the objections to the proposals for the district of Roe (Wagin) stemmed from the decision to abolish the district of Eyre. However, in addition to that fundamental question, objectors raised two main concerns. First, that the proposal to split the Shire of Esperance failed to take into account a commonality of land use throughout the Shire, namely agricultural, and could disrupt communities of interest. Secondly, that Esperance had a closer affinity to the regional centre of Kalgoorlie than it did to areas to its west, stretching all the way across to the Wagin area.

In its objection the Shire of Esperance pointed out that the predominant land use throughout the Shire was agricultural and there were no active mining operations (although there were exploration tenements and the Port of Esperance was used for the export of mining product from the Goldfields) in the Shire and nor were there areas devoted to traditional pastoral practices. There was, the Shire said, only one community of interest and the predominant land use was agricultural in and throughout the Shire.

Further, the Shire had a long history and relationship with the Goldfields and was a member of the regional associations in combination with other organisations in the Goldfields region. In its objection, the Shire of Ravensthorpe expressed similar views and asserted a strong community of interest with Esperance.

A principal reason why the proposal to split the Shire of Esperance was advanced was to avoid creating an LDA in Roe. As will appear shortly, the Commissioners accept that this argument ought not stand in the face of strong community of interest considerations. The Commissioners accepted that there were strong community of interest and land use arguments militating in favour of uniting the Shire of Esperance and they decided that this ought to happen. The Commissioners also accept that communities of interest dictate that the Shires of Esperance and Ravensthorpe ought to be in the same electoral district.

There are undoubted ties between Esperance, Ravensthorpe and the Goldfields. However, this has to be balanced against all other factors to which the Commissioners must give consideration and the overriding requirement to keep all districts within the permitted tolerance range.

If the whole of the Shire of Esperance or both the whole of that Shire and the Shire of Ravensthorpe were to be included in the district of Kalgoorlie, that electorate would be outside the permitted tolerance range. On the numbers, this could not be done without wholesale changes to the districts of North West Central and Pilbara and the Commissioners were not persuaded that it was desirable to make those further changes. Accepting the arguments of the Shire that the predominant land use was agriculture, not mining and (or) pastoral, there was a degree of commonality of this use between Esperance/Ravensthorpe and the Shires to its west across to areas such as Wagin and Kojonup. It could be argued that the degree of commonality in this respect was greater than it was moving up from Esperance through the pastoral and mining industries in the Shire of Dundas, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and further north. The Commissioners also noted that for many years prior to the 2007 division, the Shire of Esperance was located together with agricultural areas to its west, admittedly not going as far as Wagin but certainly including local government areas such as Kent, Lake Grace and Gnowangerup, with which it will once again be joined.

Again, it comes down to a balance between the competing factors and the Commissioners have decided the best balance was achieved by including the Shires of Esperance and Ravensthorpe in Roe (Wagin).

As discussed earlier, to reduce numbers in Central Wheatbelt it has been necessary to retain the Shires of Cuballing, West Arthur and Williams in Roe (Wagin). With these changes, elector numbers in Central Wheatbelt and Roe (Wagin) are similar.

This decision means that Roe (Wagin) will have an LDA and a VFADE of + 8.78 per cent. The Commissioners were of the view it was desirable to reunite the Shire of Esperance, as they did with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the district of Kalgoorlie. In both instances there was an inevitable impact on numbers. In relation to Roe (Wagin), the VFADE was high but given trends of demographic change the Commissioners consider that it is within acceptable limits.

Albany

Some objectors suggested that the Shire of Jerramungup ought not be included in the district of Albany. On the other hand the relevant local authority supported the change. The Commissioners were not persuaded that they should depart from the proposals in this respect.

LDAs in Agricultural Region districts

In the 2015 Proposals Report the Commissioners said they preferred not to create districts in the Agricultural Region that had LDAs. However, after considering the objections the Commissioners accept that the arguments for recognising, preserving and facilitating established communities of interest (where feasible) and (or) land use patterns are stronger than those against the extension of LDAs into the Agricultural Region and the latter should not, of themselves, dictate the configuration of districts. The community of interest arguments put in objections, particularly concerning the splitting of the Shire of Esperance and the location of the Shires of Dowerin, Goomalling, Koorda and Wongan-Ballidu were compelling and the Commissioners believe they ought to be adopted. As explained above, there are no further offsets that the Commissioners believe can be made without creating other disruptions of communities of interest or creating VFADE problems in adjoining districts. As a result of these decisions both Central Wheatbelt and Roe (Wagin) now have an LDA.

The concept of LDAs was introduced by the Electoral Amendment and Repeal Act 2006 (WA). In the two divisions since then (2007 and 2011) attention has been focussed on LDAs in the Mining and Pastoral Region. However, the plain meaning of the words in section 16G of the Act is such that the concept of an LDA is not restricted to the Mining and Pastoral Region. A reasonable argument can be mounted that the extension of LDAs beyond the Mining and Pastoral Region and into the Agricultural Region was an inevitable consequence of the combination of the 2006 amendments and the trend of demographic changes in Western Australia.

The following table sets out information concerning the geographical area and elector numbers (as at the relevant day) of the districts of Central Wheatbelt and Roe (Wagin) under the proposals and as a result of this decision.

Table 6: Comparison of 2011 boundaries, 2015 proposed boundaries and final boundaries of Central Wheatbelt and Roe (Wagin)

Description

Central Wheatbelt

Roe

Geographical area
(2011 boundaries1)

62,363 sq km

Roe: N/A

[Wagin: 68,971 sq km]

[Eyre: 297,759 sq km]

Geographical area
(2015 proposed boundaries)

97,669 sq km

77,939 sq km

Geographical area
(final boundaries)

101,240 sq km

106,409 sq km

Enrolled elector numbers
(2015 proposed boundaries)

24,962

23,480

Elector numbers
(final boundaries, attributable to LDA)

1,519

1,596

Elector numbers
(final boundaries, including LDA)

27,019

27,111

1     Area calculated using 2015 BoundaryMaker software

The table illustrates that in relative terms (compared with, for example, the LDAs in the Mining and Pastoral Region either following the 2011 division or this division) the additional elector numbers attributable to the LDA are modest. The additional geographical area that an elected representative will have to serve has changed.

As explained earlier, many objectors raised concerns about the difficulty for residents gaining physical access to their elected representatives when the size of districts is increased. The Commissioners have acknowledged these concerns. However, the problems may be ameliorated depending upon the location of electoral offices. This is an administrative issue for the Member and is governed by rules that lie elsewhere than in the Act.

The Commissioners have come to the view that the best balance of competing factors is served by making the changes set out in this report, albeit with the consequence that two of the four districts in the Agricultural Region will have an LDA.

Finally in this respect the Commissioners repeat that they are aware a consequence of their decision is that Roe (Wagin) and Central Wheatbelt (and for that matter Kalgoorlie) have high VFADEs. They considered many other configurations of districts in the Agricultural Region (indeed in all regions). For example, it would have been possible to make fewer changes of local government areas than those posited in the 2015 Proposals Report. This might have resulted in less discrepancy between numbers in, for example, Central Wheatbelt and Moore, but it would have left Roe as the only district in the region with an LDA (and with numbers considerably in excess of the other Agricultural districts) and Central Wheatbelt would have had a geographical area only a little under the threshold for the allocation of an LDA. Further, it would have been difficult to advance a rational explanation why one local government area rather than another was to be allocated contrary to accepted community of interest arguments.

In making the decision the Commissioners decided that on this occasion it was desirable and feasible to recognise communities of interest while keeping districts within the permitted tolerance range, albeit with high VFADEs and LDAs in two of them. Sometimes it is not possible to give full effect to community of interest arguments as, for example, with the decision not to include the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku in the district of Kalgoorlie.

Central Wheatbelt map (PDF, 1.34 MB ) Moore map (PDF, 1.21 MB )
Geraldton map (PDF, 1.03 MB ) Roe map (PDF, 1.31 MB)

Note: These maps are highly detailed and are designed to be printed in colour at A3 size. Copies of maps at this scale are available from Electoral Boundaries WA on request.

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Mining and Pastoral Region

Eyre is abolished with the Mining and Pastoral Region now comprising four districts:

Eyre                           Abolished

Kalgoorlie

Gains:                       Shires of Coolgardie and Dundas, and the remainder of the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Cedes:                      Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku

Kimberley             No change

North West Central

Gains:                       Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku

Pilbara                     No change

Mining and Pastoral Region cedes the Shires of Esperance, Ravensthorpe, Westonia and Yilgarn to the Agricultural Region.

This reapportionment means that all districts are within the permitted tolerance range as indicated in Table 7.

Table 7:  Mining and Pastoral Region and Districts - Number of electors per district after final boundary changes

District1

Electors
(after final boundary changes)

Large District Allowance (LDA)

Electors
(including LDA after final boundary changes)

Variation
from ADE2

Area
(sq km)

Kalgoorlie

18,674

8,332

27,006

+ 8.36%

555,464

Kimberley

16,867

6,315

23,182

- 6.99%

421,011

North West Central

10,510

12,256

22,766

- 8.65%

817,083

Pilbara

17,842

6,098

23,940

- 3.94%

406,525

Total

63,893

33,001

96,894

 

2,200,083

1     Note that districts retaining the same name may not necessarily retain the same boundaries

2     Average District Enrolment at 9 March 2015.

Mining and Pastoral Region Map (PDF, 1.28 MB)

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Commentary

Pilbara

An objector advocated the transfer of the Shire of Karratha from the Pilbara district to the North West Central district and the removal of the Shires of Meekatharra and Wiluna, and the eastern part of the Shire of Ashburton, from North West Central and their inclusion in Pilbara. One of the advantages of the proposal to retain the current boundaries of Pilbara was that it meant there were no local government areas that were split between districts. The Commissioners believe this is a desirable outcome where practicable and have not been persuaded that they should depart from the 2015 Proposals Report in this respect.

North West Central

An objector suggested moving the boundary between the North West Central district and the Moore district south to include the remainder of the Shire of Northampton. The Commissioners did not believe this was desirable because of the flow-on effects to districts in the Agricultural Region, including the need to split local governments in other parts of the Region to offset elector numbers as a result of reuniting the Shire of Northampton.

Kalgoorlie

Some shires and individuals took exception to the splitting of the Shire of Laverton between the district of Kalgoorlie and the district of North West Central and the inclusion of the Shires of Leonora and Ngaanyatjarraku in North West Central, citing strong communities of interest and historical ties with the regional centre of Kalgoorlie. The Commissioners were persuaded of the merit of those arguments and have tried to accommodate them. However, to include the whole of those three Shires in Kalgoorlie would take it outside the permitted tolerance range. Although there would be some offset from another decision concerning the Shire of Esperance, discussed below, the Commissioners were not able to identify other areas that could be transferred to another adjoining district to resolve that problem.

The Commissioners have decided that the best balance of the competing factors, given the need to keep the numbers within the permitted tolerance range, was to keep the whole of the Shire of Laverton together and to include that Shire and the Shire of Leonora in Kalgoorlie. Purely because of numbers, the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku will have to be located in North West Central.

As previously explained, the Commissioners have decided that the portion of the Shire of Esperance included in Kalgoorlie in the 2015 Proposals Report will be transferred to Roe (Wagin).

The result of these changes is that the VFADEs for Kalgoorlie and North West Central will be + 8.36 per cent and - 8.65 per cent respectively. The VFADE for Kalgoorlie is high but given trends of demographic change, the desirability of reuniting the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and of recognising communities of interest where feasible, the Commissioners consider that these VFADEs are at an acceptable level.

It should be noted that with these new boundaries no new local government authorities in the Mining and Pastoral Region will be split between districts and two of the four districts will retain the same boundaries they had following the 2011 division.

Kalgoorlie map (PDF, 1.12 MB) North West Central map (PDF, 1.14 MB)
Kimberley map (PDF, 929 kB)

Pilbara map (PDF, 1.02 MB)

Note: These maps are highly detailed and are designed to be printed in colour at A3 size. Copies of maps at this scale are available from Electoral Boundaries WA on request.

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South West Region

There will be eight districts comprising the South West Region, the same number following the 2011 division:

Albany

Gains:                        Shire of Jerramungup

Bunbury

Gains:                        Dalyellup locality

Cedes:                      Part of Australind locality

Collie-Preston

Gains:                        Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup and part of Australind locality

Cedes:                       Dalyellup locality

Dawesville             No change

Mandurah              No change

Murray-Wellington             No change

Vasse

Gains:                   Reminder of Gracetown locality

Cedes:                 Remainder of the Burnside, Forest Grove, Margaret River and Witchcliffe localities

Warren-Blackwood

Gains:            Shire of Plantagenet and the remainder of the Stirling Range National Park locality and the remainder of Burnside, Forest Grove, Margaret River and Witchcliffe localities

Cedes:           Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup and remainder of Gracetown locality

South West Region gains the Shires of Jerramungup and Plantagenet, and the remainder of Stirling Range National Park locality from the Agricultural Region.

This reapportionment means that all districts are within the permitted tolerance range as indicated in Table 8.

Table 8:  South West Region and Districts - Number of electors per district after final boundary changes

District1

Electors
(after final boundary changes)

Variation
from ADE2

Area
(sq km)

Albany

25,011

+ 0.35%

10,820

Bunbury

25,537

+ 2.46%

82

Collie-Preston

26,799

+ 7.53%

4344

Dawesville

26,511

+ 6.37%

128

Mandurah

25,296

+ 1.50%

71

Murray-Wellington

25,295

+ 1.49%

4,232

Vasse

24,829

- 0.38%

2,542

Warren-Blackwood

25,992

+ 4.29%

22,651

Total

205,270

 

44,870

1    Note that districts retaining the same name may not necessarily retain the same boundaries

2    Average District Enrolment at 9 March 2015.

South West Region Map (PDF, 1.28 MB)

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Commentary

Collie-Preston - affecting Vasse

Many objectors raised questions about the proposal to unite the whole Shire of Augusta-Margaret River but at the cost of splitting the City of Busselton and the inclusion of the northern part of the City in the district of Collie-Preston. The Commissioners accepted the strong community of interest arguments against the proposal to split the City of Busselton. They decided it should be reunited and that the whole of the City should be in the district of Vasse.

They were then confronted with a problem of relatively low numbers in Collie-Preston. The local member suggested that the localities of Roelands and Brunswick should be transferred from the district of Murray-Wellington to the district of Collie-Preston. However, the Commissioners note that:

  • Roelands and Brunswick are in the Shire of Harvey, most of which is in the district of Murray-Wellington
  • No objections were raised to the inclusion of the Shire of Capel in Collie-Preston (as it has been since the 2007 division)
  • The Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup has, from time to time, expressed a preference to be aligned with Capel and has at various times in the past (including following the 2007 division and before the 2011 division) been in a district with the Shire of Collie.

The Commissioners have decided that the best balance of competing factors was achieved by transferring the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup from the Warren-Blackwood district to Collie-Preston. As discussed earlier, that change relieves the necessity to change the name of the district to Collie-Capel (as previously proposed).

Collie-Preston will have a VFADE of + 7.53 per cent which, given the trends of demographic change, the Commissioners consider reasonable.

Vasse and Warren-Blackwood

As already indicated, the whole of the City of Busselton will be in the district of Vasse (as it is under the 2011 division). This change has a flow-on effect to the Warren-Blackwood district and it is necessary to balance numbers between the adjoining districts. It was not possible to include the whole of the localities of Burnside, Boranup, Forest Grove, Gnarabup, Margaret River, Prevelly and Witchcliffe in Vasse, as proposed.

The Commissioners decided to depart from the proposals and to retain the boundaries between Vasse and Warren-Blackwood as they are at present (that is, following the 2011 division) subject to some relatively minor modifications, namely:

  • Shifting part of the Vasse boundary so that it aligns with the southern boundary of the locality of Gracetown, thus avoiding a split of that locality and the inclusion of the whole of Gracetown in Vasse. This is a ‘tidying up’ exercise and the change does not affect any electors.
  • Shifting part of the Warren-Blackwood boundary to unite the township of Margaret River and the localities of Burnside, Forest Grove and Witchcliffe, all of which were previously split. This change means the entirety of the township and the localities will be in Warren-Blackwood. The change affects 175 electors.

Warren-Blackwood is also affected by the decision to transfer the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup to Collie-Preston (see above). As explained in the 2015 Proposals Report, Warren-Blackwood gains the Shire of Plantagenet and the remainder of the Stirling Range National Park.

As a result of these changes Vasse and Warren-Blackwood will have VFADEs of ‑ 0.38 per cent and + 4.29 per cent respectively. Given the trends of demographic change the Commissioners consider these numbers to be reasonable.

Albany map (PDF, 1.06 MB ) Collie-Preston map (PDF, 1.26 MB) Mandurah map (PDF, 1.53 MB) Vasse map (PDF, 1.28 MB)
Bunbury map (PDF, 1.27 MB) Dawesville map (PDF, 1.15 MB) Murray-Wellington map (PDF, 1.31 MB) Warren-Blackwood map (PDF, 1.55 MB)

Note: These maps are highly detailed and are designed to be printed in colour at A3 size. Copies of maps at this scale are available from Electoral Boundaries WA on request.

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Total votes: 632