I TOTALLY agree with Bob Swain's complaint about the sheer size of outback electorates ("Vast country seats cement our social disadvantage", letters, October 5) and the difficulties that face MPs in providing workable and effective representation for their constituents.
While I subscribe to the principle of one vote, one value as firmly as the next man, the reality is that it sometimes clashes with providing effective representation in large and sparsely populated outback regions and I think NSW should look at following the example of Queensland and Western Australia in making allowance for such areas.
In Queensland, the State Electoral Act prescribes a special "weightage" formula for districts that exceed 100,000 square kilometres in area.
A figure equal to two per cent of the total area of the electoral district is added to the actual number of electors enrolled in that district.
For example, an electoral district 250,000 square kilometres in area would have 5000 (i.e., two per cent of 250,000 square kilometres) "phantom" electors added to its actual number of live electors.
An almost identical provision applies in Western Australia, the only difference being that the formula is based on a figure of 1.5pc of the total area of the electoral district.
In both cases, the combined total of live flesh and blood electors and "phantom electors" must be within 10pc of the quota set by the respective state electoral authorities.