An ambitious ‘fly-in-fly-out’ electoral program is underway to collect votes for the North West Central District by-election from some of WA’s most remote communities.
The WA Electoral Commission’s two-week remote polling program, ahead of the 17 September by-election, commenced on Tuesday (6 September) when a small team of officials flew into Tjirrkarli, approximately 140 kilometres north west of Warburton.
By polling day, two electoral teams will have visited 12 remote communities in the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Mid West Regions.
The North West Central District is WA’s largest electorate, covering more than 820,000 square kilometres, stretching from Kalbarri to Pannawonica and east to the Northern Territory/South Australia border.
WA Electoral Commissioner, Robert Kennedy, said sending polling teams out to those communities on chartered aircraft was the best way to ensure they could participate in the electoral process.
“These communities are so isolated even postal voting isn’t really an option, so the best solution is to take a polling place to them,” Commissioner Kennedy said.
“Some are so far east they set their clocks on Australian Central Time (ACT), the time zone used in the Northern Territory and South Australia.
“The Commission is committed to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are fully engaged with the electoral process, no matter where they live.
“It’s a significant undertaking, but it’s not about costs or even the number of votes collected, it’s about accessibility, inclusion and fairness.”
The schedule of remote polling visits for this by-election is as follows:
- Tjirrkarli: 6 September 2022
- Warburton: 6 September 2022
- Wingellina (Irrunytju): 7 September 2022
- Pia Wadjari: 8 September 2022
- Blackstone (Papulankutja): 8 September 2022
- Jameson (Mantamauru): 9 September 2022
- Tjukurla: 10 September 2022
- Warburton: 11 September 2022
- Warakurna: 12 September 2022
- Wanarn: 13 September 2022
- Wakathuni: 13 September 2022
- Burringurrah: 14 September 2022
- Gascoyne Junction: 15 September 2022
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