State electoral boundaries to change before next election

BY the time the next state election comes around, Queensland could have more than 89 seats.

State legislation requires state electoral boundaries to be reassessed every seven years, and the next deadline will fall into this term of government.

Queensland University of Technology political analyst John Mickel said a commissioner would examine the boundaries and assess population growths and clusters to determine whether changes were needed.

The former parliamentary speaker said most MPs represented a population of up to about 32,000 people.

Some areas could have experienced an increase in population while others have a steady figure and Mr Mickel said boundaries were usually adjusted accordingly.

"It's like playing three-dimensional chess, which parts of the seats are going to grow and which seats are going to grow," Mr Mickel said.

While he said not all of regional Queensland had experienced significant population growth, areas including south Mackay, the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Gold Coast had experienced significant changes.

"The number of seats in the State Parliament has not been increased since 1986," he said. "But there has been almost 1.5 to 2 million extra people in Queensland, and 70% are in south east Queensland."

He said it would be up to the commissioner and government to determine whether Queensland needed more seats.

"What I do hear more and more is people saying 'we never see our MP'."

He said part of that reason was because in 1986, an MP represented about 21,000 people. Now it's 32,000.

"The more the state grows and the more you have the same number of MPs, the more you're going to hear those things."

Mr Mickel said it was likely the process would begin in the next year and would include computerised technology.


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