Member for Mt Isa, Robbie Katter has questioned a plan for a reduction of seats in Queensland Parliament, which would give people in the bush even less representation.
The State Leader of the Katter’s Australian Party said the proposal would result in further neglect of rural and regional communities, robbing constituents of their opportunity for face-to-face conversations with their local MP.
“It’s vitally important that MPs are able to get out on the ground in their electorates and talk to their constituents face-to-face,” Mr Katter said.
“The suggestion that MPs could spend less time out in their electorates and replace handshakes with emails simply doesn’t work in Western Queensland.”
“The Mount Isa electorate is more than twice the size of the state of Victoria and it’s already hard enough to get around to meet people face-to-face and understand their issues first hand.”
“Every voter has the right to shake hands with their MP.”
“It would make representation absolutely impossible for Western areas.”
“Frankly, it’s a bush killer, no question, because it would see more power go into the hands of the city-centric establishment.”
Mr Katter was supportive of better checks and balances in Parliament but believes this can be achieved by breaking up the two-party system.
“What we need is the public to embrace a multi-party system that would deliver competition to parliament to break up the duopoly of the two major parties,” he said.
“We need representation that champions development West of the Great Divide.”
“This plan would only exacerbate the gravitation of government spending towards votes in high population areas.”
Mr Katter said relying on undependable technology for communication with constituents in the bush would be disastrous.
“Try and tell the people of Gregory or Karumba who regularly experience internet and mobile phone outages for weeks on end,” he said.