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Third federal seat to give Canberrans more electoral punch

By Ian Bushnell - 31 August 2017 18

There is a strong likelihood that the ACT will today be granted an extra seat in the House of Representatives. Photo: Jack Mohr.

The degree of difficulty for the Coalition Government to be returned at the next election is about to get that much harder with the strong likelihood that a growing ACT will today be granted an extra seat in the House of Representatives, with Labor a strong favourite to benefit.

Around lunchtime today, Thursday August 31, the Australian Electoral Commission is expected to rule on the need for any redistribution of electoral boundaries for the next election due in 2019, based on the latest population data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

According to a Parliamentary Library analysis, the ACT and Victoria will both gain a seat while South Australia will lose one, with the size of the 46th Parliament increasing to 151 seats.

The main ACT parties may be about to go to war over the third seat but they are on a unity ticket when it comes to more representation for the Territory, which has the two largest electoral divisions by population in the country.

Labor ACT branch secretary Matthew Byrne said that with the ACT’s population now over  400,000, it was getting closer and closure to the population of Tasmania.

“But we don’t have the kind of constitutional privileges they do, so it is worthwhile for a city that’s growing like ours to be represented properly in the Federal Parliament,’’ he said.

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter said a third seat was definitely overdue, while the Greens Convenor Michael Mazengarb said a third seat would make the ACT more democratic and the party was savouring the chance to offer an alternative to the main parties.

“There is no doubt that the Federal Liberal and Labor parties have grown complacent with two ‘safe’ Labor seats in the Federal lower house,’’ he said.

But the Greens might be dreaming if they feel they can replicate their inner city Melbourne cousins.

Emeritus Professor of Politics at the ANU John Warhurst said their time had not yet come for that kind of proposition, although their preferences may play a role.

He believes a Labor win is the more likely outcome and in a tight race every seat will count, even if at present the Government is floundering in the polls and bedevilled by the citizenship saga and gay marriage.

“If the next election is pretty tight, as it probably will be that’s a bonus for the Labor Party and improves its chances of winning overall if it gets very close,’’ Professor Warhurst said.

Not that Labor is chalking up the seat in its column yet, and the Liberals are quick to refute any suggestions that they are not in the running.

Mr Potter said it depended on how the new electorates were carved up but he thinks the Liberals would be in with a very good chance based on polling showing its base vote is ‘actually very strong’, particularly in the south.

“We’ve been chipping away at the margins of the seat of Canberra for a number of elections but if the demographics of that seat were to change, and incorporate those new areas of Coombs and Wright in Molonglo and the third seat is based around Tuggeranong I think we’d be in with a very good shot,’’ he said.

Mr Byrne said it was all bluff and bluster until the new electoral boundaries were known, and that goes for his party as much as the Liberals after a recent branch conference where the spectre of a factional preselection brawl was raised.

He played down that possibility, saying the conference differences were more to do with anxiety around proposed voting eligibility changes, with the third seat being a ‘bit of straw man’ for that debate more than anything else.

The last preselection process in 2010 was a bumpy one, with Federal moves to impose a preferred candidate rebuffed by the local branch.

Mr Byrne was quick to again assert the ACT’s independence.

“These things are always hotly contested … and there was little intervention from the leadership at the time and I would expect that state and territory parties are largely left to their own internal processes when it comes to preselection,’’ he said.

Professor Warhurst said Canberra tended to attract high-profile candidates, although there is no sign yet anyone making a move from senior party levels, the assembly, Public Service or the community sector.

With a previous Canberra seat going to the Liberals the last time there had been three seats in the ACT, Labor wasn’t taking anything for granted but Mr Byrne dismissed the Liberal claims.

“People should have a look at the returns for the Liberal Party and how much research they’ve done recently – very little. I would take what Arthur says with a grain of salt,’’ he said.

He rejected the notion that a friendlier Federal Budget and an improved Public Service jobs outlook would make the Liberals more attractive to ACT voters.

“There is always a threat that a Liberal Government looking for savings will do what they naturally do which is attack the Public Service, but the Public Service is not the only thing that determines votes in the ACT,’’ he said.

“Yes job security is a serious motivator but when it comes to health, education funding, the provision of services and infrastructure like the NBN, I think Canberrans are pretty skeptical of the Liberal Party.’’

Mr Potter hoped a third seat meant Canberrans were not prepared to put all their eggs in one basket and would look to the Liberal Party to spread the risk.

“Canberrans are smart voters, they understand that if there were three seats here and one of them was Liberal and the others Labor that really would be Canberra hedging their bets,’’ he said.

He said budgets and “all that other stuff’’ came and went.

If Labor does add a third seat to its local tally, Professor Warhurst said the Caucus could have up to five Canberra region members, if you concede that the popular Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh are safe, and you throw in Mike Kelly in Eden-Monaro plus Senator Katy Gallagher.

“With five of them you start to have quite a voice in Caucus,’’ he said.

All players though will have to wait on what could be a lengthy redistribution process to see how the ACT will be divided, a process that might collide with the not improbable possibility of an early election given the Government’s single seat buffer in the House. The requirement for a half-Senate election by May 2019 also complicates matters. An election for the House has to be held on or before 2 November 2019.

The AEC said a standard redistribution process could take up to a year, with requirements for public submission periods and comment, and then time to consider any objections once the redistribution committee proposes new boundaries.

But a spokesman said it “is going to be cognisant of when an election can be called and do things as quickly as possible’’.

The parties are playing a waiting game at present but Professor Warhurst said that they would want the Parliament to go full term so they had time to select candidates and had plenty of time out in the field.

“You wouldn’t want the redistribution to run on too long or you could run into trouble at the other end,’’ he said.

Today’s decision won’t have the parties out of the blocks but it should provide some electoral justice to ACT voters and could give Labor an edge, should it need one, when the next election is called.

It would be fitting twist if it came down to the long-neglected and under-represented voters of the Territory who decided the next government.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Third federal seat to give Canberrans more electoral punch
dungfungus 8:49 am 06 Sep 17

stubby morrison said :

Garfield said :

stubby morrison said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

bj_ACT said :

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

I checked out the booth results on the AEC website for Tuggeranong, Woden & Weston from the last federal election and Labor won the two party preferred on every booth. That suggests the prospects of the Liberals winning the southernmost federal seat in the ACT are indeed a pipe dream at the moment.

I would agree with that prediction but while another Labor seat in the ACT might be good for Federal Labor it would be a lost opportunity for the ACT to show we are not taken for granted.

I would like to see a non-aligned independent or someone from the “Shooters and Fishers” party stand. I am assuming a Green would have Buckley’s chance of getting elected.

The Greens have a decent chance of winning the division of Canberra, assuming it becomes centred on the inner city. Their primary vote was around 30% at a lot of inner-north polling places. I find it hard to believe the Shooters and Fishers would have much support in the ACT, but I could definitely see a moderate independent or perhaps the rebranded Reason Party winning the new south suburbs electorate (the Sex Party almost won a seat in Brindabella at the ACT election).

The Greens only won 18.8% of the total vote in Kurrajong last year, being their best electorate. That’s only 1/5th of the ACT and a federal seat will have around 1/3rd of the ACT so a central seat would include other areas that are worse for the Greens. The Libs have a better chance than the Greens at the moment.

Similarly the Sex Party or any other known minor parties would be no chance for a seat at the moment. A strong independent would need a huge campaign to have a chance.

It would definitely require a lot of campaigning (probably over several elections) but I think Labor voters in Canberra are generally more likely to switch to the Greens than the Liberals, both because Canberra’s a relatively progressive electorate and because of concerns the Liberals will cut and/or decentralise the public service. It’s worth noting that the Greens vote in the division of Melbourne increased from around 18% in 2004 to 44% at the last federal election (while the Labor vote fell from 52% to 24%), despite Melbourne being a very safe Labor safest seat for most of the 20th century. I don’t think it’ll necessarily happen in Canberra, just that it’s possible (particularly if Labor voters in Canberra feel like the party is taking them for granted). Labor will in all likelihood win Canberra, but if they don’t, it seems more likely the Greens will win it than the Liberals.

In reference to your comment dungfungus, the Liberals won government in 2016 despite only have about 80,000 members Australia-wide, so I don’t think membership is a very good reflection of votes.

Well, look what happened in NSW a few months ago:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/philip-donato-of-the-shooters-fishers-and-farmers-party-wins-orange-byelection-20161122-gsute3.html

stubby morrison 7:03 am 06 Sep 17

Garfield said :

stubby morrison said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

bj_ACT said :

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

I checked out the booth results on the AEC website for Tuggeranong, Woden & Weston from the last federal election and Labor won the two party preferred on every booth. That suggests the prospects of the Liberals winning the southernmost federal seat in the ACT are indeed a pipe dream at the moment.

I would agree with that prediction but while another Labor seat in the ACT might be good for Federal Labor it would be a lost opportunity for the ACT to show we are not taken for granted.

I would like to see a non-aligned independent or someone from the “Shooters and Fishers” party stand. I am assuming a Green would have Buckley’s chance of getting elected.

The Greens have a decent chance of winning the division of Canberra, assuming it becomes centred on the inner city. Their primary vote was around 30% at a lot of inner-north polling places. I find it hard to believe the Shooters and Fishers would have much support in the ACT, but I could definitely see a moderate independent or perhaps the rebranded Reason Party winning the new south suburbs electorate (the Sex Party almost won a seat in Brindabella at the ACT election).

The Greens only won 18.8% of the total vote in Kurrajong last year, being their best electorate. That’s only 1/5th of the ACT and a federal seat will have around 1/3rd of the ACT so a central seat would include other areas that are worse for the Greens. The Libs have a better chance than the Greens at the moment.

Similarly the Sex Party or any other known minor parties would be no chance for a seat at the moment. A strong independent would need a huge campaign to have a chance.

It would definitely require a lot of campaigning (probably over several elections) but I think Labor voters in Canberra are generally more likely to switch to the Greens than the Liberals, both because Canberra’s a relatively progressive electorate and because of concerns the Liberals will cut and/or decentralise the public service. It’s worth noting that the Greens vote in the division of Melbourne increased from around 18% in 2004 to 44% at the last federal election (while the Labor vote fell from 52% to 24%), despite Melbourne being a very safe Labor safest seat for most of the 20th century. I don’t think it’ll necessarily happen in Canberra, just that it’s possible (particularly if Labor voters in Canberra feel like the party is taking them for granted). Labor will in all likelihood win Canberra, but if they don’t, it seems more likely the Greens will win it than the Liberals.

In reference to your comment dungfungus, the Liberals won government in 2016 despite only have about 80,000 members Australia-wide, so I don’t think membership is a very good reflection of votes.

Garfield 5:15 pm 05 Sep 17

stubby morrison said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

bj_ACT said :

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

I checked out the booth results on the AEC website for Tuggeranong, Woden & Weston from the last federal election and Labor won the two party preferred on every booth. That suggests the prospects of the Liberals winning the southernmost federal seat in the ACT are indeed a pipe dream at the moment.

I would agree with that prediction but while another Labor seat in the ACT might be good for Federal Labor it would be a lost opportunity for the ACT to show we are not taken for granted.

I would like to see a non-aligned independent or someone from the “Shooters and Fishers” party stand. I am assuming a Green would have Buckley’s chance of getting elected.

The Greens have a decent chance of winning the division of Canberra, assuming it becomes centred on the inner city. Their primary vote was around 30% at a lot of inner-north polling places. I find it hard to believe the Shooters and Fishers would have much support in the ACT, but I could definitely see a moderate independent or perhaps the rebranded Reason Party winning the new south suburbs electorate (the Sex Party almost won a seat in Brindabella at the ACT election).

The Greens only won 18.8% of the total vote in Kurrajong last year, being their best electorate. That’s only 1/5th of the ACT and a federal seat will have around 1/3rd of the ACT so a central seat would include other areas that are worse for the Greens. The Libs have a better chance than the Greens at the moment.

Similarly the Sex Party or any other known minor parties would be no chance for a seat at the moment. A strong independent would need a huge campaign to have a chance.

dungfungus 4:12 pm 05 Sep 17

stubby morrison said :

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

bj_ACT said :

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

I checked out the booth results on the AEC website for Tuggeranong, Woden & Weston from the last federal election and Labor won the two party preferred on every booth. That suggests the prospects of the Liberals winning the southernmost federal seat in the ACT are indeed a pipe dream at the moment.

I would agree with that prediction but while another Labor seat in the ACT might be good for Federal Labor it would be a lost opportunity for the ACT to show we are not taken for granted.

I would like to see a non-aligned independent or someone from the “Shooters and Fishers” party stand. I am assuming a Green would have Buckley’s chance of getting elected.

The Greens have a decent chance of winning the division of Canberra, assuming it becomes centred on the inner city. Their primary vote was around 30% at a lot of inner-north polling places. I find it hard to believe the Shooters and Fishers would have much support in the ACT, but I could definitely see a moderate independent or perhaps the rebranded Reason Party winning the new south suburbs electorate (the Sex Party almost won a seat in Brindabella at the ACT election).

The Greens have about 15,000 members Australia wide.

The SSAA (Sporting Shooters Association of Australia) has over 180,000 members Australia wide.

stubby morrison 3:06 pm 05 Sep 17

dungfungus said :

Garfield said :

bj_ACT said :

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

I checked out the booth results on the AEC website for Tuggeranong, Woden & Weston from the last federal election and Labor won the two party preferred on every booth. That suggests the prospects of the Liberals winning the southernmost federal seat in the ACT are indeed a pipe dream at the moment.

I would agree with that prediction but while another Labor seat in the ACT might be good for Federal Labor it would be a lost opportunity for the ACT to show we are not taken for granted.

I would like to see a non-aligned independent or someone from the “Shooters and Fishers” party stand. I am assuming a Green would have Buckley’s chance of getting elected.

The Greens have a decent chance of winning the division of Canberra, assuming it becomes centred on the inner city. Their primary vote was around 30% at a lot of inner-north polling places. I find it hard to believe the Shooters and Fishers would have much support in the ACT, but I could definitely see a moderate independent or perhaps the rebranded Reason Party winning the new south suburbs electorate (the Sex Party almost won a seat in Brindabella at the ACT election).

dungfungus 9:27 am 05 Sep 17

Garfield said :

bj_ACT said :

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

I checked out the booth results on the AEC website for Tuggeranong, Woden & Weston from the last federal election and Labor won the two party preferred on every booth. That suggests the prospects of the Liberals winning the southernmost federal seat in the ACT are indeed a pipe dream at the moment.

I would agree with that prediction but while another Labor seat in the ACT might be good for Federal Labor it would be a lost opportunity for the ACT to show we are not taken for granted.

I would like to see a non-aligned independent or someone from the “Shooters and Fishers” party stand. I am assuming a Green would have Buckley’s chance of getting elected.

Garfield 4:25 pm 04 Sep 17

bj_ACT said :

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

I checked out the booth results on the AEC website for Tuggeranong, Woden & Weston from the last federal election and Labor won the two party preferred on every booth. That suggests the prospects of the Liberals winning the southernmost federal seat in the ACT are indeed a pipe dream at the moment.

bj_ACT 12:13 pm 04 Sep 17

Liberal Party president Arthur Potter is absolutely kidding himself if he thinks he has a good chance of winning the 3rd seat if it was Tuggeranong based. The difference in Federal Election/ACT Election voting patterns between Labor/Liberal votes in Tuggeranong is huge.

Based on the booth by booth data for ‘ACT Local elections’ and ‘Federal elections’ shows a 16% differential in voting patterns on 1st preference. The working class demographic of Tuggeranong are traditional Labor voters at the Federal Level and they vote this way. It has only been the last two ‘local elections’ that Tuggeranong has shifted to majority Liberal votes, but only in local elections.

This more recent shift to Liberal at local elections only, is likely related to ACT Labor closing Tuggeranong schools, raising land rates on people who can least afford it, very little new infrastructure investment in Tuggeranong and a reduction in maintenance to public assets across the entire Tuggeranong Valley. The Libs would need a massive swing in the two party preferred to even get close.

Lucy Baker 1:20 pm 02 Sep 17

Elizabeth Lee might stand a chance were she to jump from the LA…

JC 7:03 pm 01 Sep 17

Don’t disagree that the ACT is due a third seat. My point was comparing to Tasmania is not valid because it has special provisions to a minimum number of house of rep seats. Personally don’t think it should but that’s the way it is, as I said rightly or wrongly.

Holden Caulfield 9:18 am 01 Sep 17

Mysteryman said :

People need to stop including state senators in the comparison between state and territory representation…

Oh yeah, totally with you on State v Territory and Senate numbers and the different role the Senate plays. I get that. But taking a leaf from Darryl Kerrigan, and putting the State v Territory issues aside, it’s the vibe of Tasmania being represented by 17 people compared with the ACT, which has around 80% of the population, currently represented with only four. On that basis, surely one extra lower house seat is not too much to ask?

@JC Similarly, I understand your point about Tasmania and its right to a minimum of five seats by virtue of being a State, but the ACT has been on the cusp of a third lower house seat for a while now.

This is the current list of enrolled voters by state/territory:
http://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Enrolment_stats/national/2017.htm

Taking a very simplistic approach of dividing the number of enrolled voters by electoral division gives the following:

NSW (47 divisions) = 109,674 voters per division
VIC (37) = 108,769 voters per division
QLD (30) = 104,043 voters per division
WA (16) = 99,838 voters per division
SA (11) = 107,894 voters per division
TAS (5) = 75,100 voters per division
NT (2) = 68,886 voters per division
ACT (2) = 142,391 voters per division*

*with three seats that will change to 94,927 voters per division.

dungfungus 8:17 am 01 Sep 17

JC said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Using Tasmania as the reference for this discussion, with its 510,000 residents being represented by 17 people (5 MPs, 12 Senators), getting a third seat in the reps for the ACT with a population of 406,000 is well overdue.

Using Tasmania as a comparison is not valid owing to the fact that Tasmania has special conditions dating from Federation. (rightly or wrongly).

The “Marriage ACT” also has special conditions (rightly or wrongly) dating from the Howard government but over half of Australia wants that changed (if you believe some of the media).

JC 7:16 pm 31 Aug 17

Holden Caulfield said :

Using Tasmania as the reference for this discussion, with its 510,000 residents being represented by 17 people (5 MPs, 12 Senators), getting a third seat in the reps for the ACT with a population of 406,000 is well overdue.

Using Tasmania as a comparison is not valid owing to the fact that Tasmania has special conditions dating from Federation. (rightly or wrongly).

Mysteryman 4:37 pm 31 Aug 17

Holden Caulfield said :

Using Tasmania as the reference for this discussion, with its 510,000 residents being represented by 17 people (5 MPs, 12 Senators), getting a third seat in the reps for the ACT with a population of 406,000 is well overdue.

People need to stop including state senators in the comparison between state and territory representation. Senate representation is intentionally very different from that of the House, and comparisons with states/territories are misleading and misguided.

If you want to compare apples to apples, compare numbers in the House. I think you’ll see that the ACT is proportionally represented compared to other areas, and that Tasmania is the exception.

Holden Caulfield 11:06 am 31 Aug 17

Using Tasmania as the reference for this discussion, with its 510,000 residents being represented by 17 people (5 MPs, 12 Senators), getting a third seat in the reps for the ACT with a population of 406,000 is well overdue.

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