Contents

Year in review

AEC overview

Report on performance: Program 1.1 Electoral roll management

Report on performance: Program 1.2 Election management and support services

Report on performance: Program 1.3 Education and communication

Management and accountability

Financial statements

Appendices

References

Support services for electoral redistributions

On this page:

Deliver support for the redistributions culminating in the AEC providing updated electoral boundary redistribution maps and advice to impacted electors.

Overview

Electoral boundaries are periodically 'redistributed' (that is, redrawn) in accordance with Part IV of the Electoral Act. The purpose of electoral redistributions is to ensure that, as nearly as practicable, there are an equal number of electors in each federal electoral division for a given state or territory.

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 of 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.

Performance

Table 12 summarises the AEC's results against the performance information set out for support services for electoral redistributions in the 2010–11 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Two redistributions were underway during 2010–11. The Victorian redistribution, which commenced in 2009–10, was completed, and the South Australia redistribution commenced.

Table 12 Key performance results for support services for electoral redistributions
Key performance indicators Results
Support services provided by the AEC are appropriate and allow for the effective and timely conduct of redistribution activities, complying with legislative requirements and to the satisfaction of redistribution committees. Support services were provided by the AEC in a timely manner and in accordance with legislative requirements.

Support services were delivered to the satisfaction of redistribution committees.

Assistance provided by the AEC

The AEC assisted the augmented Electoral Commission and the Redistribution Committee for Victoria, and the Redistribution Committee for South Australia, by:

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

Members of the augmented Electoral Commission and the Redistribution Committee for Victoria reported a high level of satisfaction with the services provided by the AEC.

During June 2011, the AEC sent approximately 350 000 letters notifying electors whose electoral divisions had changed as a result of the redistribution that occurred in Victoria in December 2010.

Victorian redistribution

The redistribution that commenced in Victoria on 1 February 2010 was finalised during 2010–11. This redistribution was 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. Victoria retained its entitlement to 37 members in the House of Representatives but, as a result of the redistribution, changes were made to the boundaries of all electorates.

The Redistribution Committee for Victoria released its report detailing the proposed boundaries for Victoria's federal electoral divisions on 30 July 2010.

The augmented Electoral Commission for Victoria considered 129 objections to the redistribution proposal, together with 40 comments on the objections. It also conducted public hearings in Melbourne and Shepparton.

On 21 October 2010, the augmented Electoral Commission announced the outcome of its deliberations, expressing the view that its proposal was 'significantly different' from that of the Redistribution Committee. The key change to the Redistribution Committee's proposal was the reinstatement of the Division of Murray. A number of changes to the proposed boundaries of other electoral divisions were also made, in response to public objections.

In accordance with s.72 of the Electoral Act, the augmented Electoral Commission invited the lodgement of further written objections, and announced that another public inquiry would be held. That inquiry, held in Melbourne, considered 278 further objections to the augmented Electoral Commission's proposal.

The augmented Electoral Commission announced on 9 November 2010 that it had adopted the redistribution proposal for Victoria as published on 21 October 2010, with some minor changes.

The formal determination of the names and boundaries of the electoral divisions was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 24 December 2010. Final maps and a report setting out the augmented Electoral Commission's reasons were tabled in parliament and subsequently made available to the public.

South Australian redistribution

The redistribution of federal electoral boundaries in South Australia commenced on 12 January 2011. This redistribution was 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. South Australia retained its entitlement to 11 members in the House of Representatives.

During April 2011, the Electoral Commissioner conducted briefing sessions about the redistribution process for South Australian federal members and senators and their staff, as well as media and local government representatives. Feedback about the briefings, including the value of the information presented, was positive.

The Redistribution Committee received eight public suggestions about the redistribution in South Australia and four comments on those suggestions. It will release a report detailing its proposed new boundaries in 2011–12.

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