Mallee move?

THE entire Shire of Loddon will be placed within the Federal Electorate of Mallee if a proposed redistribution of electoral boundaries proceeds.

The Australian Electoral Commission released its proposed redistribution report on Friday, which recommends the municipality being in the one Federal electorate.

Currently the municipality is split across three electorates - Mallee in the north, Bendigo in the south and Murray in the middle.

The Shire of Gannawarra area will remain in Mallee.

The Nationals' Andrew Broad is the current Member for Mallee, one of the safest conservative electorates in Australia, and Nationals colleague, Damian Drum, represents neighbouring Murray.

The changes will see the predicted number of enrolled voters in Mallee rise from 99,931 to 112,088 - well within the Australian Electoral Commission's guidelines that state between 96,259 and 117,649 registered voters are in each of the nation's 150 House of Representative electorates.

The commission has also suggested renaming the Murray electorate to 'Nicholls' in honour of Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls MBE(C) OBE(C) KCVO (1906–1988) and Lady Gladys Nicholls (1906–1981) for their significant contribution in advocating for Aboriginal rights and welfare.

Sir Douglas Nicholls was a professional athlete, pastor and the inaugural chairman of the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation. He was involved in organisations such as the Australian Aboriginals League and the Aboriginal Advancement League. He became Governor of South Australia in 1976, the first Aboriginal person to hold vice-regal office.

Lady Gladys Nicholls co-founded the women's auxiliary of the Aborigines Advancement League and was involved with several national bodies, including the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the National Aboriginal and Islander Women's Council, of which she was secretary and Victorian state president.

The committee noted the name 'Murray' is essentially a supplication of the neighbouring division's name as 'Indi' is an Aboriginal name for the Murray River.

Residents can have their say on the recommendation by lodging feedback to the Australian Electoral Commission by 6pm on Friday, May 4. 

This can be done by e-mailing FedRedistribution-VIC@aec.gov.au or writing to The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), G.P.O. Box 768, Melbourne, 3001.hostel).

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