There has been some opposition to the notion of increasing the number of Assembly members here in the ACT and the writing of the new boundaries will resurrect those opposed to an increase.
We should note that we have a similar population as Tasmania and a more robust economy. But in Tasmania, there are five electorates at both the state and federal level – in fact they share the same names.
So let’s look at the representation in the two jurisdictions.
In the ACT, we will have 25 Territory representatives in a single House of governance. We have two senators and two House of Representatives Members. Total – 26 representatives for 385,600 people. (source ABS)
And apart from an aberration in 1996-1998 (when we had 3 House of Reps Members) we have had no change in representatives we’ve seen a huge increase in population.
The ratio here is 1:13,297 people.
Note that we don’t have city or shire councils which ups the number of elected representatives a lot.
In Tasmania, with a population as at March 2014 of 514,700 (source ABS), there are 12 senators (a throwback from federation), 5 House of Representatives, 25 State House of Assembly Members and 15 Legislative Council Members. Total – 57 – so far…
In Tasmania there are 29 local Government Councils and a total of 265 Councillors. New total – 325.
So… the ratio in Tasmania is 1:1,584
So… it is agreed that Tasmania has a higher population – 33% higher – but look at the representation!
I reckon that the ACT at 1:13,297 people is grossly under- represented or Tasmania is grossly over-represented. Maybe both.
I reckon we need the extra Assembly Members and we need more House of representative Members.
The numbers speak for themselves.
We have a more robust economy, Tasmania is a basket case and we are a success story. We have no local government and no Upper House. All we need is a workable number in the Legislative Assembly.
We also have a federal Government (of both persuasions) which couldn’t give a monkey’s about fairness in this issue. Shame on both their houses! They would have us governed by a farmer from Queensland or a nutter from Tasmania.