Durack: the electorate bigger than many countries still finds it hard to get noticed

Written on the 18 May 2016

Durack: the electorate bigger than many countries still finds it hard to get noticed Portugal to the Baltic coast, plus emus. That's the scale of the Western Australian seat of Durack, which stretches more than 1.6m sq km from Kellerberrin, 206km due east of Perth, to the Kimberley coast and the Northern Territory border.

It's the largest electorate in Australia and second largest in the world behind Nunavut in Canada but it's home to fewer than 200,000 people, more than half of whom live in regional towns along the coast.

It's held by the Liberal MP Melissa Price, who inherited preselection in 2013 from the former MP Barry Hasse. Hasse used to hold the even more unwieldy 2.3m sq km seat of Kalgoorlie before it was split north and south into the seats of Durack and O'Connor in 2010.

If Price started at the bottom of her electorate and headed north, she would reach Kununurra, 3,140km away at its northern tip, in three very long days. That's assuming that all the roads are open they're frequently not. The paved highway that guides grey nomads up the coast from Perth turns to gravel when you head more than a few hundred kilometres inland. In the Kimberley, the fine copper dirt turns to sucking mud after the first hour of rain, and the roads to rivers when the rain doesn't stop for several weeks.

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Source: The guardian

Image: Durack stretches from Kellerberrin, 206km due east of Perth, to the Kimberley coast and the Northern Territory border. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP


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