BOTH the Liberal and National parties are on a mission to make the residents of Bemboka feel a little more at home in the Valley.
Currently Bemboka is the only town in the Bega Valley Shire not in the state government electorate of Bega, which covers an area from Batemans Bay to the Victorian border.
Instead the town is in the Monaro electorate, where the sitting member is the Nationals’ John Barilaro.
Earlier this year the NSW Electoral Redistribution Panel (ERP) called for submissions for changes to electoral boundaries.
Both the Liberal and National parties called for the boundaries of the Bega electorate to be redrawn to include Bemboka.
The Labor Party also asked for a change to the Bega boundaries, but they wanted the coastal town of Bawley Point to the north of Batemans Bay included, not Bemboka.
Member for Bega Andrew Constance said both he and Mr Barilaro supported to move to bring Bemboka into Bega.
“It makes absolute sense to do this,” Mr Constance said.
With residents of Bemboka using schools, medical facilities and financial services in the Bega Valley, many contact the office of Mr Constance if they have a local grievance instead of Mr Barilaro.
“My office in Bega is 35km from Bemboka and the Monaro electorate office is 180km away in Queanbeyan, so it’s obviously far more practical for Bemboka to be in Bega electorate.
“I am often called to represent the people of Bemboka with their concerns and views, and regardless of the outcome I will still do so.
“I would like to point out that Labor applied to have Bawley Point included in the Bega electorate, which is 180km away from my office in Bega.
“This shows they only had their own political interests in mind, not the interests of their constituents.”
At a council meeting on February 6, Bega Valley Shire Deputy Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick requested general manager Peter Tegart prepare a submission to the ERP requesting Bemboka be incorporated into the Bega electorate.
The BVSC submission noted that "the Bemboka district has close social, economic and geographical links to the Bega electorate".
Submissions could also be made by private citizens.
Steve Woods from Bemboka made a submission on the basis residents would be better served by being in the Bega electorate.
“Bemboka is not represented properly in its current setting…in all manners we are part of the Bega Valley and therefore should be represented by someone at a state level who does understand the area,” he wrote.
All submissions are currently available for public viewing on www.redistribution.nsw.gov.au, and comments on the suggestions must be made by Wednesday.
The BVSC submission is currently missing from the website and at press time the council was still making inquiries about its omission.