The process of drawing up the boundaries for the ACT’s new federal electorate officially began yesterday and is expected to be completed in July next year.
Yesterday the Australian Electoral Commission released an indicative timetable for the ACT redistribution, with a call for public suggestions for the redistribution to be made in October/November.
A proposed redistribution report will be released next April, with the objection period closing in May and a final determination of electoral divisions made on July 13.
The redistribution processes were triggered following an AEC determination last Thursday of the number of members of the House of Representatives to which each state and territory will be entitled at the next federal general election.
The ACT and Victoria will both gain an extra seat, while South Australia will lose one.
“The Electoral Commission met promptly on Friday to direct the commencement of redistributions following Thursday’s determination,” Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said.
“Based on population changes, it was determined Victoria and the ACT would each gain one seat and South Australia would lose one seat at the next federal election.”
Independent Redistribution Committees will be appointed to each redistribution and the Committees will be supported by small secretariats of staff from the AEC.
The AEC says that the redistribution process provides opportunities for individuals and organisations to propose where the electoral division boundaries could be located.
The public can also make suggestions about the name of an electoral division.
The AEC has made guidelines available to assist people or organisations interested in submitting their suggestions.
The RiotACT reported last Thursday that the degree of difficulty for the Coalition Government to be returned at the next election may get that much harder with the granting of the extra seat as Labor is a strong favourite to benefit.
However, this is not a sure thing and while the main ACT parties may be about to go to war over the third seat, they have been on a unity ticket when it comes to the need for more representation for the Territory.
This is because the ACT has had the two largest electoral divisions by population in the country.
Where would you like to see the new electoral boundaries drawn? Do you have any suggestions for a name for the new electorate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.