Contents

Year in review

AEC overview

Report on performance: Outcome 1

Report on performance: Outcome 2

Report on performance: Outcome 3

Management and accountability

Appendices

References

Financial statements

Program 1.2 – Support services for electoral redistributions

Updated: 25 November 2010

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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.

Overview

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:

  • The Redistribution Committee is responsible for making a proposed redistribution. It comprises the Electoral Commissioner and the Australian Electoral Officer, Surveyor-General (or equivalent officer) and Auditor-General for the relevant state or territory.
  • The augmented Electoral Commission considers any objections to the proposed redistribution and makes a final determination of the names and boundaries of the redistributed divisions. It comprises the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, the non-judicial member of the Electoral Commission and the members of the Redistribution Committee.

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Performance

Table 15 summarises the AEC's results against the performance information set out for Program 1.2 in the 2009–10 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Table 15 Program 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, 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.

Redistributions concluded in 2009–10

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.

Table 16 Summary of electoral redistributions concluded in 2009–10
  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

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Redistribution commenced in 2009–10

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.

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Assistance provided by the AEC

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:

  • analysing demographic and enrolment data
  • facilitating the public consultation process
  • providing support for committee meetings
  • producing and publishing (including on the AEC website)
    • maps to show revised boundaries
    • proposed redistribution and final redistribution reports
    • information about the redistribution process
  • preparing legal instruments, background research papers, analysis of public submissions, and material for publication in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette.

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.