Year in review

AEC overview

Report on performance: Outcome 1

Report on performance: Outcome 2

Report on performance: Outcome 3

Management and accountability

Financial performance and future operations

Appendices

References

Output 1.1.2 - Support services for electoral redistributions

Updated: 21 December 2010

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The AEC provides high-quality support services to the various committees carrying out electoral boundary redistributions.

Overview

To ensure that federal electoral divisions remain relatively equally representative, their boundaries are periodically 'redistributed' (that is, redrawn) in accordance with Part IV of the Electoral Act. Section 59 of the Electoral Act fixes the times at which redistributions must commence in a state or territory.

The AEC provides administrative assistance to the two bodies established under Part IV of the Electoral Act to conduct each redistribution:

  • the Redistribution Committee, which is responsible for making a proposed redistribution based on legislative requirements
  • the augmented Electoral Commission, which considers any objections to the proposed redistribution and makes a final determination of the names and boundaries of the redistributed divisions.

Each Redistribution Committee comprises the Electoral Commissioner and the Australian Electoral Officer, and the Surveyor-General or equivalent officer and Auditor-General for the relevant state or territory. An augmented Electoral Commission for each state or territory comprises the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, the non-judicial member of the Electoral Commission and the members of the Redistribution Committee.

Table 11 summarises the AEC's results against the performance information set out for Output 1.1.2 in the 2008–09 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Performance

A significant level of redistribution activity occurred during 2008–09. The AEC provided assistance to committees for five redistributions: three redistributions concluded and two commenced during the year.

Table 11 Output 1.1.2 – Support services for electoral redistributions: performance results
Key performance indicators Targets Results
Support services provided by the AEC were appropriate and allowed for the effective and timely conduct of redistribution activities Committees express a high level of satisfaction with support services provided Support services provided by the AEC were appropriate and allowed for the effective and timely conduct of redistribution activities.

The committees were satisfied with the support services provided.
Services to Redistribution Committees comply with legislative timeframes Support services to Redistribution Committees were provided in accordance with legislative timeframes.

The AEC provided assistance to the augmented Electoral Commissions for Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory and the Redistribution Committees for New South Wales and Queensland. Assistance provided included:

  • preparing legal instruments, background research papers, and material for publication in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette
  • analysing demographic and enrolment data
  • facilitating the public consultation process
  • providing support for committee meetings
  • producing and publishing state and territory maps to show the revised boundaries
  • producing and publishing proposed redistribution and final redistribution reports.

Redistributions concluded in 2008–09

Redistributions in Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, which commenced during 2007–08, were finalised during 2008–09. These redistributions were triggered by s. 59(2)(c) of the Electoral Act, which requires that a direction to commence a redistribution shall be made if a period of seven years has elapsed since the last redistribution determination for the state or territory.

As a result of these redistributions, changes were made to the boundaries and names of some electorates in Western Australia and to the boundaries of all electorates in Tasmania. In the Northern Territory, no changes were made to the electorate boundaries or names, which have been in place since December 2000.

Redistribution in Western Australia

The Redistribution Committee for Western Australia released the report detailing the proposed electorate boundaries for Western Australia's 15 federal electoral divisions on 1 August 2008.

Twenty-two objections to the redistribution proposal, together with six comments on the objections, were considered by the augmented Electoral Commission for Western Australia. The augmented Electoral Commission also conducted public hearings in Perth and Manjimup.

The augmented Electoral Commission announced on 7 November 2008 that it had adopted the 1 August 2008 proposal of the Redistribution Committee, with some changes.

The formal determination of the names and boundaries of the electoral divisions was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 18 December 2008. Final maps and a report setting out the augmented Electoral Commission's reasons were tabled in the parliament and subsequently made available to the public.

Redistribution in Tasmania

The Redistribution Committee for Tasmania released the report detailing the proposed electorate boundaries for Tasmania's five federal electoral divisions on 22 August 2008.

Forty-nine objections to the redistribution proposal, together with nine comments on the objections, were considered by the augmented Electoral Commission for Tasmania. The augmented Electoral Commission also conducted public hearings in Hobart and Devonport.

The augmented Electoral Commission announced on 28 November 2008 that it had adopted the 22 August 2008 proposal of the Redistribution Committee, with some changes.

Final maps and a report setting out the augmented Electoral Commission's reasons were tabled in the parliament and subsequently made available to the public. The formal determination of the boundaries and names of the electoral divisions was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 16 February 2009.

Redistribution in the Northern Territory

The Redistribution Committee for the Northern Territory released the report detailing the proposed electoral boundaries for the Northern Territory on 20 June 2008. No objections were made to the proposals contained in the report.

The augmented Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory announced on 19 September 2008 that it had adopted without alteration the proposed redistribution as published by the Redistribution Committee on 20 June 2008.

The formal determination of the Northern Territory redistribution was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 19 September 2008. Final maps and a report setting out the augmented Electoral Commission's reasons were tabled in the parliament and subsequently made available to the public.

Redistributions commenced in 2008–09

Redistributions of New South Wales and Queensland commenced during 2008–09.

The redistributions resulted from the Electoral Commissioner's determination on 17 February 2009, under s. 48(1) of the Electoral Act, that the entitlement of New South Wales had decreased to 48 seats (from 49) and that the entitlement of Queensland had increased to 30 seats (from 29).

Public suggestions to be considered by the Redistribution Committees for New South Wales and Queensland were sought, together with comments on those suggestions. The Redistribution Committees and the augmented Electoral Commissions will release their proposals and finalise the boundaries during 2009–10.