Provision of high quality support services to the various committees carrying out electoral boundary redistributions so that redistributions result in boundary alignment that meets legislative objectives.
To ensure that federal electoral divisions remain relatively equally representative, electoral boundaries are periodically 'redistributed' (that is, redrawn) in accordance with Part IV of the Electoral Act. The AEC provides administrative assistance to the two bodies established to conduct each redistribution:
Table 15 summarises the AEC's results against the performance information set out for Program 1.2 in the 2009–10 Portfolio Budget Statements.
|Key performance indicators||Targets||Results|
Support services provided by the AEC were appropriate and allowed for the effective and timely conduct of redistribution activities, complying with legislative requirements and to the satisfaction of committees
Support services comply with legislative requirements
Support services were provided by the AEC in a timely manner and in accordance with legislative requirements.
Support services are to the satisfaction of committees
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.
As a result of two redistributions that concluded in 2009–10, changes were made to the boundaries and names of some electorates in New South Wales and Queensland. Table 16 sets out the milestones in the two redistribution processes.
|New South Wales||Queensland|
|Basis for Electoral Commissioner's determination triggering redistribution||Decreased entitlement to House of Representatives electorates (from 49 to 48)||Increased entitlement to House of Representatives electorates (from 29 to 30)|
|Direction to commence redistribution||19 February 2009||19 February 2009|
|Date of release of Redistribution Committee report on proposed boundaries||7 August 2009||24 July 2009|
|Public responses to Redistribution Committee proposal||280 objections and 35 comments on objections||555 objections and 19 comments on objections|
|Augmented Electoral Commission activities|
|– public hearings held||One each in Mittagong and Sydney||One each in Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville|
|– decision||Adopt the proposal, with changes||Adopt the proposal, with changes|
|– date of announcement of decision||23 October 2009||16 October 2009|
|Date of gazettal of formal determination||22 December 2009||15 December 2009|
The redistribution of federal electoral boundaries in Victoria commenced on 1 February 2010, because seven years had elapsed since the previous redistribution in that state. Victoria retained its entitlement to 37 members in the House of Representatives.
During March 2010, the Electoral Commissioner conducted briefing sessions about the redistribution process for Victorian federal members and senators and their staff, as well as media representatives, in Melbourne, Ballarat and Canberra. Feedback about this initiative, including the value of the information presented, was positive.
The Redistribution Committee received 12 public suggestions about the redistribution in Victoria and nine comments on those suggestions. It will release a report detailing its proposed new boundaries in 2010–11.
The AEC assisted the augmented Electoral Commissions for New South Wales and Queensland and the Redistribution Committees for New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, including by:
Members of the augmented Electoral Commissions and Redistribution Committees for New South Wales and Queensland reported a high level of satisfaction with the services provided by the AEC.
Also, during March and June 2010, the AEC sent approximately 1 254 000 letters notifying electors whose electoral divisions had changed as a result of redistributions that occurred in Western Australia in December 2008 and in New South Wales and Queensland in December 2009.