Durack largest seat in Australia
May 10, 2019
The Federal seat of Durack covers 1,629,858sqkm, 64 per cent of WA's land mass.
Put into perspective, it is the largest electorate in Australia by land area, the largest constituency in the world that practises compulsory voting, and the second-largest single-Member electorate in the world after Nunavut in Canada.
Although physically similar in size to Mexico, the electorate has only 300 settlements and embraces major industries including mining, tourism, agriculture and fishing.
The division is named after the pioneering Durack family, on whom Dame Mary Durack based her popular historical novels.
Created to replace parts of the abolished seat of Kalgoorlie, which was split between Durack and O'Connor, it elected its first Member in 2010, with sitting Kalgoorlie Liberal MP Barry Haase contesting and winning the seat.
The seat was then won in 2013 by Liberal Melissa Price, who will contest it for the third time in the forthcoming election on May 18.
Kalgoorlie-born Ms Price was parachuted in as a candidate after losing a State election.
She has since become the first minister from the electorate or its predecessor since 1949.
The 2013 election was the closest any challenger had come to winning Durack when former Nationals WA candidate and current Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn was pipped by just under 6000 votes off the back of popularity for State program Royalties for Regions.
In 2016, Ms Price increased her margin as the goodwill towards the Nationals in regional WA dissipated but easily accounted for the main challenger Carol Martin, a former Labor MLA for Kimberley.
Durack stretches from Wyndham in the north to Quairading in the south and includes northern and central parts of the Wheatbelt, the Mid West, Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley regions.
It covers two State Liberal, two Labor and three Nationals Lower House seats in the WA Parliament, with party voting trends fluctuating greatly across the vast space.
Its populated areas include Geraldton, Broome, Carnarvon, Derby, Dongara, Kalbarri, Karratha, Kununurra, Meekatharra, Merredin, Moora, Mukinbudin, Narembeen, Newman, Port Hedland and Tom Price.
Labor and the Greens have historically polled their highest at remote booths across the Kimberley.
The biggest centre is Geraldton in the Mid West, which registered 18,707 valid votes last election, making up a quarter of all voters.
About 45 per cent of people in Geraldton backed Ms Price last election.
Labor was the last major political party to pre-select its candidate for the upcoming election, with the announcement made about two weeks ago.
Source - Geraldton Guardian