Electoral reform hearing

25 Jun, 2003 10:00 PM

THE High Court of Australia will hear an appeal against the Perth Supreme Court's one-vote, one-value decision on August 5 and 6.

Late last year the Supreme Court ruled against the WA Labor Government's electoral legislation because it changed the state constitution and therefore required another vote in the Legislative Council.

The State Government, not happy with the decision, appealed to the High Court to have the Supreme Court decision overturned. The Country Alliance has vowed to fight the appeal.

If the Government wins, rural and regional WA could lose up to eight Legislative Assembly seats to the Perth metropolitan area, which would also help Labor retain power at the next elections due before February 2005.

Country Alliance convener Dan Sullivan said it was imperative that the appeal was defeated. "We argue it is not a matter for the High Court," he said.

"This is make or break for country WA."

Mr Sullivan said electoral boundaries would be drawn up in August but could be drawn up again in time for the next election if the Government received a favourable decision from the High Court by early next year.

"This is not about one-vote, one-value. This is a mathematical formula to suit the Labor Party," he said.

The WA Government has indicated it would continue to negotiate with the Greens to get the one-vote one-value legislation passed if the High Court bid failed.


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