A change in the ACT’s electoral boundaries is coming

Spitfire3 24 June 2005 7

Electoral Commission plans ACT boundary shuffle
From: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200506/s1399830.htm
Friday, June 24, 2005. 12:31pm (AEST)

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) says it wants to change the ACT’s federal electoral boundaries because of high population growth in Canberra’s northern suburbs.

It has proposed that about 10,000 voters in Barton, Fyshwick, Griffith, Kingston and Narrabundah be moved from the Division of Fraser to the Division of Canberra.

The AEC’s Terry Rushton says the move will smooth out the numbers in the electorates and anyone who has an objection should lodge a submission by July 22.

He says a final decision is expected in October.

“Unfortunately there is a necessity that a number of electors be moved from one division to the other and this will occur,” he said.

“However, the Electoral Commission will take into account any objections that it may receive before it makes a final determination.”

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7 Responses to A change in the ACT’s electoral boundaries is coming
GuruJ GuruJ 12:05 pm 27 Jun 05

NT *may* fall below the requirements for a second seat again this year, although current projections show it will be 200-300 people above the amended population requirements.

I say “amended” because part of the 2004 deal allowed Territory electorate number to fall up two standard deviations below the nominal population required to allow for errors in census figures — effectively a bodge to get NT “over the line”. Without the 2004 legislation they would definitely be in line to drop to one seat again.

In any case, both NT and the ACT get screwed under current rules — without a guaranteed five seats like Tasmania, seat sizes for Territories can be up to 25% above the national average (for two seats), or 50% above the average (if NT drops to just one seat).

I think it’s wrong for us as smaller territories to be under-represented and if anything, the system should err towards giving us an extra seat when seats get large. There’s currently a proposal before the Federal Joint Standing Committee to cap Territory seat sizes at no more than 10% above the national average, Tasmania’s worst case scenario (full disclosure: I helped write this submission).

I’d be interested to hear what RiotACTers think of the proposal.

Couscous Couscous 11:21 pm 26 Jun 05

Writing to the commission will do nothing.

In 2003 the AEC determined that the Northern Territory, which had two seats, was about 300 people short of the quota required to hold them. But fast forward to the 2004 election and the two electorates remained: Labor’s Lingiari and the (Country) Liberal Party’s Solomon. The reason the NT kept its two seats is, as JB suggests, because the government felt it had a fair chance of retaining Solomon. So it introduced legislation to overrule the AEC. Labor supported the bill, because it, too, felt it could win Solomon.

The government ended up winning. But if the NT had had only one seat, the combined vote suggests Labor would have won.

seepi seepi 10:24 pm 26 Jun 05

yes – I was going to suggest it was about Canberra being labor all the way, then I remembered Garry Humphries.
I looks like we’ll have to get double the population of any other seat to get another one then…

johnboy johnboy 1:35 pm 26 Jun 05

well many observers feel the electoral commission is over-close to the government of the day.

a government which does not want to see a third safe albor seat created in the ACT.

which is sad because on any fair drafting of the boundaries I’d fancy a liberal’s chances on a third seat. assuming they ran a good candidate

seepi seepi 9:47 pm 25 Jun 05

Should we all be writing to the Electoral Commission about this? Why won’t they give us three seats?

Thumper Thumper 2:15 pm 24 Jun 05

You mean the Leggos spagetti man who was once the leader of the True Believers?

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 1:45 pm 24 Jun 05

Surely its time for 3 electorates at Federal level. Fraser and Canberra have 90odd thousand voters each – national average (IIRC) is about 65,000.

In the words of someone famous a long time ago, “Its Time” 🙂

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