Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Bookmark

This gazette
Administered by: Finance
Published Date 06 Apr 2018

 

PROPOSED Redistribution of Federal Electoral DIVISIONS IN THE AUSTRALIAN cAPITAL TERRITORY

 

The Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory (the Redistribution Committee) has made a proposed redistribution of federal electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory.

Members of the public and organisations are invited to inspect the report of the Redistribution Committee which contains:

·         reasons for the proposed redistribution,

·         maps showing the names and boundaries of each proposed electoral division, and

·         suggestions and comments on suggestions previously lodged with the Redistribution Committee.

Members of the public and organisations are now invited to lodge written objections to the proposed redistribution.  Objections may agree or disagree with what has been proposed.

WHY IS A REDISTRIBUTION BEING CONDUCTED?

As part of a determination of the number of members of the House of Representatives to which each state and territory will be entitled at the next federal general election, on Thursday 31 August 2017 the Electoral Commissioner determined the Australian Capital Territory’s entitlement increased from two to three members of the House of Representatives.

As a redistribution is required when the Territory’s entitlement to members of the House of Representatives changes, on Monday 4 September 2017, in accordance with section 59 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act), the Electoral Commission directed that a redistribution of the Australian Capital Territory commence.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A REDISTRIBUTION

In making its proposed redistribution, the Redistribution Committee was bound by section 66 of the Electoral Act.

The number of electors in each proposed electoral division must not deviate by more than 10 per cent above or below the current enrolment quota. The current enrolment quota for the Australian Capital Territory was determined by the Electoral Commissioner to be 96,115 as at Monday 4 September 2017.

As far as practicable, the Redistribution Committee must ensure that the number of electors enrolled in each electoral division at Thursday 13 January 2022 (the projection time) will not deviate by more than 3.5 per cent above or below the projected enrolment quota of 99,699 electors.

Enrolment as at Monday 4 September 2017, the projected enrolment figures, current and projected enrolment quotas, and the redistribution timetable, are available on the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website: www.aec.gov.au/ACT-redistribution

Section 66 of the Electoral Act also provides that the Redistribution Committee:

‘give due consideration, in relation to each proposed Electoral Division, to:

(i)         community of interests within the proposed Electoral Division, including economic, social and regional interests;

(ii)            means of communication and travel within the proposed Electoral Division;

(iv)        the physical features and area of the proposed Electoral Division; and

(v)        the boundaries of existing Divisions in the State or Territory’.

Consideration of existing boundaries is subordinate to the other factors set out above.

Under section 56AA of the Electoral Act:

·         the whole of the Jervis Bay Territory be included in one electoral division of the Australian Capital Territory,

·         until such time as Norfolk Island is entitled to choose a member of the House of Representatives at a general election, the whole of Norfolk Island shall be included in one electoral division in the Australian Capital Territory, and

·         if there is more than one electoral division in the Australian Capital Territory, Norfolk Island and the Jervis Bay Territory are to be included in different electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR?

Notices inviting suggestions relating to the redistribution and comments on suggestions were placed in:

·         the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette (the Gazette) on Wednesday 25 October 2017,

·         the South Coast Register on Friday 27 October 2017,

·         the Canberra Times, Norfolk Islander and Weekend Australian on Saturday 28 October 2017, and

·         the Koori Mail on Wednesday 1 November 2017.

Sixteen suggestions and six comments on suggestions were received and all were considered by the Redistribution Committee in the development of its proposal.

The proposed federal electoral divisions

The Redistribution Committee has proposed retaining the names of ‘Canberra’ and ‘Fenner’ for the northern and central electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Redistribution Committee proposes naming an electoral division ‘Bean’ in honour and recognition of the contributions of Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean. Charles Bean was Australia’s official correspondent in World War I, official war historian who worked on the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, writing six volumes in addition to editing all 12 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian War Memorial. Charles Bean served as a member of the Committee (later Board of Management) of the Australian War Memorial for 40 years, and as its Chairman from 1952 until 1959.

As the Australian Capital Territory’s entitlement has increased it has necessitated changes to both of the current electoral divisions to meet the requirements of the Electoral Act. The Redistribution Committee proposes altering the current electoral division boundaries such that:

·         the proposed Division of Bean be located in the southern part of the Australian Capital Territory which includes the Districts of Molonglo Valley, Weston Creek, and Tuggeranong and part of the District of Woden Valley,

·         the proposed Division of Canberra be located in the centre of the Australian Capital Territory over Lake Burley Griffin and those areas adjacent to the lake, and

·         the proposed Division of Fenner be located in the northern part of the Australian Capital Territory which includes the Districts of Gungahlin and Hall and most of the District of Belconnen.

 

The Redistribution Committee also proposes:

·         the Jervis Bay Territory be located in the northern electoral division, the proposed Division of Fenner, and

·         Norfolk Island be located in the southern electoral division, the proposed Division of Bean.

 

Under the proposed redistribution, 150,003 electors enrolled in the Australian Capital Territory (or 52.02 per cent of all electors enrolled in the Australian Capital Territory on Monday 4 September 2017) will change their federal electoral division as a result of the proposed redistribution.

VIEWING THE REDISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE’S PROPOSAL

The Redistribution Committee’s report, including maps, is available electronically on the AEC website (www.aec.gov.au/ACT-redistribution).

 

A printed copy of the report can also be inspected at the office of the senior Divisional Returning Officer for the Australian Capital Territory (50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra). The location of each AEC office is available on the AEC website or by phoning 13 23 26.

What happens next?

Objections

Any interested person or organisation who wishes to make an objection to the proposed boundaries or names of electoral divisions contained in the proposed redistribution has until 6pm AEST Friday 4 May 2018 to lodge a written objection via the means listed in the ‘How to lodge an objection or comment on an objection’ section below. Objections received after the prescribed lodgement time cannot be considered.

People or organisations making objections are requested, where practical, to provide any paper maps in A4/A3 size to facilitate copying.

Comments on objections

Objections will be available for public inspection from Monday 7 May 2018 at the office of the senior Divisional Returning Officer for the Australian Capital Territory (50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra) and on the AEC’s website (www.aec.gov.au/ACT-redistribution). Any written comments on the objections must be lodged in writing with the AEC by 6pm AEST Friday 18 May 2018. Comments received after the prescribed lodgement time cannot be considered.

The comments on objections will be available for public inspection from Monday 21 May 2018 at the office of the senior Divisional Returning Officer for the Australian Capital Territory (50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra) and on the AEC’s website (www.aec.gov.au/ACT-redistribution).

Objections considered by the augmented Electoral Commission

Written objections and comments on objections are considered by the augmented Electoral Commission. The augmented Electoral Commission for the Australian Capital Territory comprises of:

·         the three members of the Australian Electoral Commission – the Chairperson, the Electoral Commissioner and a non-judicial member, currently the Australian Statistician, and

·         the three remaining members of the Redistribution Committee – the senior Divisional Returning Officer for the Australian Capital Territory, Surveyor-General for the Australian Capital Territory and the the Australian Capital Territory Auditor-General.

As part of its considerations, the augmented Electoral Commission may hold an inquiry into any objection or comment on objections.

The second redistribution proposal

After it has considered all objections and comments, the augmented Electoral Commission will make its own proposed redistribution.

Further objections

If the augmented Electoral Commission’s proposed redistribution is significantly different from the Redistribution Committee’s proposal, the augmented Electoral Commission will invite further objections. Information will be provided should this stage be required.

Final determination

After considering all submissions, the augmented Electoral Commission will make a final determination of boundaries and names of the electoral divisions for the Australian Capital Territory by notice published in the Gazette on Friday 13 July 2018.

Copies of the augmented Electoral Commission’s determination and reasons for that determination, together with the work of the Redistribution Committee, will be tabled in both Houses of Parliament. Once this has occurred, this material will be made available to the public via the AEC website.

When will the new federal ELECTORAL DIVISONS come into effect?

The new names and boundaries of electoral divisions will be in place from the determination on Friday 13 July 2018. However, electoral events will not be contested on these new electoral divisions until a writ is issued for a general election following the expiry or dissolution of the House of Representatives.

HOW TO LODGE AN OBJECTION OR A COMMENT ON AN OBJECTION

Objections and comments on objections should be lodged via the AEC website at www.aec.gov.au/ACT-redistribution. Objections and comments on objections can also be submitted:

·         by email to: FedRedistribution-ACT@aec.gov.au

·         in person, during business hours, to: The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), 50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra

·         by mail to: The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), Locked Bag 4007, Canberra ACT 2601

·         by fax to: 02 6293 7660

Public availability of OBJECTIONS and comments on OBJECTIONS

The Electoral Act requires that submissions to the Redistribution Committee be made publicly available. Copies of all submissions will be made available in full for public inspection at the office of the senior Divisional Returning Officer for the Australian Capital Territory (50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra), in accordance with the Electoral Act.

All submissions will also be published in full on the AEC’s website and included in reports produced by the augmented Electoral Commission.

Signatures and address details of people and organisations who lodge written submissions will be removed prior to publication.

It is strongly recommended those wishing to make an objection or comments on objections read the ‘Guidelines for making a public submission’.

MORE INFORMATION

Persons or organisations intending to make submissions are urged to take account of the requirements of the Electoral Act. In particular, those making submissions are advised to ensure their submissions are in the physical possession of the Australian Electoral Commission by the relevant closing time.

A wide range of information is available on the AEC’s website, including:

·         further information about the federal redistribution process in the Australian Capital Territory, including an indicative timetable and background information – www.aec.gov.au/ACT-redistribution  

·         information about current electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territorywww.aec.gov.au/profiles/index.htm

·         Guidelines for making a public submission – www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/guidelines-for-submissions.htm

·         Guidelines for naming federal electoral divisions – www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/guidelines.htm

·         the legal requirements for a federal redistribution as outlined in Part IV of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918www.aec.gov.au/Elections/australian_electoral_system/Electoral_Legislation.htm

·         general information about the redistribution process – www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/

Further information can be obtained from the Redistribution Secretariat:

Telephone: 02 6160 2616

Email: FedRedistribution-ACT@aec.gov.au  

 

Mr Tom Rogers

Ms Joanne Reid

Mr Jeff Brown

Dr Maxine Cooper

Electoral Commissioner

senior Divisional Returning Officer for the Australian Capital Territory

SurveyorGeneral of the Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory Auditor-General