Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives


Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives

The Australian House of Representatives is elected from 150 single-member districts called Divisions. They are also commonly known as electorates or seats. The British term "constituencies" is rarely used.

Contents

Apportionment

Divisions are apportioned among the states and territories of Australia in accordance with section 24 of the Australian Constitution and the Electoral Act[1] Generally, apportionment among the states and territories is based on population, with the following provisos:

  • Each original state must have at least 5 Members of Parliament (a provision that gives Tasmania more representation than its population would suggest)
  • The Northern Territory is allocated slightly more representation under recent legislative amendments[citation needed]
  • The Constitution mandates that the House of Representatives should be approximately twice as large as the Senate

Within each state and territory, boundaries must be redrawn in a process known as redistribution at least once every 7 years, or when the state's entitlement to the number of MPs change. Boundaries are drawn by Redistribution Committee, and apportionment within a state is on the basis of the number of enrolled voters rather than total residents.

Within a state or territory, the number of enrolled voters in each Division can not vary by more than 10% from the average across the state, nor can the number of voters vary by more than 3.5% from the average projected enrolment three-and-a-half years into the future.

Naming

The Divisions of the House of Representatives are unusual in that many of them are not named after geographical features or numbered, as is the case in most other legislatures around the world. Most Divisions are named in honour of prominent historical people, such as former politicians (often Prime Ministers), explorers, artists and engineers.

In some cases where a Division is named after a geographical locality, the connection to that locality is sometimes tenuous. For instance, the Division of Werriwa, created in 1901, was named after the Aboriginal word for Lake George in the Canberra region. However, Werriwa has not contained Lake George for many decades, and has steadily moved some 200km north to the south-western suburbs of Sydney over the past century.

The redistribution, creation and abolition of Divisions is the responsibility of the Australian Electoral Commission. Some of the criteria the AEC use when naming new Divisions are listed below:[2]

  • Name divisions after deceased Australians who have rendered outstanding service to their country, with consideration given to former Prime Ministers
  • Retain the original names of Divisions proclaimed at Federation in 1901
  • Avoid geographical place names
  • Where appropriate use Aboriginal names
  • Do not duplicate names of state electoral districts

List of Commonwealth Electoral Divisions, 2010-

The maps below show the Division boundaries as they existed at the Australian federal election, 2010.

New South Wales

There are 48 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Sydney area
Electoral divisions: Outside Sydney area
Electoral divisions: Rest of New South Wales

Victoria

Electoral divisions: Melbourne area
Electoral divisions: Outside Melbourne area
Electoral divisions: Rest of Victoria

There are 37 Divisions:

Queensland

There are 30 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Brisbane area
Electoral divisions: Outside Brisbane area
Electoral divisions: Rest of Queensland

Western Australia

There are 15 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Perth area
Electoral divisions: Outside Perth area
Electoral divisions: Rest of Western Australia

South Australia

There are 11 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Adelaide area
Electoral divisions: Rest of South Australia

Tasmania

There are 5 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Tasmania

The Territories

Electoral divisions: Australian Capital Territory
Division of Lingiari in Northern Territory
Division of Solomon in Northern Territory

Australian Capital Territory

There are 2 Divisions:

Northern Territory

There are 2 Divisions:

Abolished Divisions

These Australian electoral divisions no longer exist.

See also

  • For a list of members of the current House of Representatives and the electorates they represent, see List of members of the Australian House of Representatives.
  • For a description of how the House of Representatives is elected, see Australian electoral system.

External links

Notes

  1. ^ Australian Electoral Commission.Research Report 4 - Australian Federal Redistributions 1901-2003. Accessed 5 May 2008.
  2. ^ Australian Electoral Commission. Guideline for Naming Divisions. 3 August 2007. Accessed 5 May 2008.

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