The Parkes electorate includes some of the most isolated parts of NSW as well as population centres including Dubbo, Parkes and Bourke. Image: http://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/Highways/Barrier/barrier.htm
Since its inception in 1984, Parkes has been held by the Nationals. The electorate has a proportionately large Indigenous population. Major industries include wool, beef, pork, wheat, cotton, oil seed crops, lucerne, dairy cattle, livestock studs, agricultural support services, coal and opal mining, timber and tourism.
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Representing 49 per cent of the land area of NSW, the electorate of Parkes covers 18 local government areas and the remote lands, called 'Unincorporated NSW', which are not part of any local government area.
Parkes is named after the 'Father of Federation', Sir Henry Parkes and has been held by the National Party since its inception in 1984. It has one of the largest Indigenous populations of any Australian electorate.
The extremely rural region relies on agriculture as one of the main sources of employment and income for the community with canola and cotton, sheep and beef the most sustainable sources of income. Mining and tourism are also significant.
The electorate is dissected by the Darling River, an integral feature of the Murray Darling river system. Water availability for communities is a key issue as well as sustainability. Other issues include access to health and education facilities.