Step 6 – announcement of names and boundaries of federal electoral divisions in the NT

Updated: 7 December 2016

Steps in the redistribution

Overview maps will be available on the website on Tuesday 7 February 2017. Detailed maps and a report outlining the augmented Electoral Commission's reasons for the formal determination will be tabled in the Federal Parliament and subsequently made publicly available.

The augmented Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory's public announcement of final names and boundaries of federal electoral divisions in the Northern Territory was made on Wednesday 7 December 2016. Read the augmented Electoral Commission's public announcement.

The augmented Electoral Commission's reasoning behind the names and boundaries of electoral divisions will be contained in its report.

The numerical constraints of the redistribution process

The augmented Electoral Commission was required to consider all objections made to the Redistribution Committee's proposal in the context of the requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act). For the augmented Electoral Commission, the primary requirements contained within sub-section 73(4) are:

  • the number of electors in each electoral division shall, as far as practicable, not deviate from the projected enrolment quota at the projection time of Friday 7 August 2020 by more than plus or minus 3.5 per cent. As far as practicable, the number of electors enrolled in each electoral division in the Northern Territory at the projection time of Friday 7 August 2020 must therefore be between 68 214 and 73 162, and
  • the number of electors in each electoral division shall not deviate from the current enrolment quota by more than plus or minus 10 per cent. The number of electors enrolled in each electoral division in the Northern Territory must be between 58 308 and 71 264.

Objections that resulted in the number of electors in an electoral division or divisions being outside either of these ranges could not be considered for implementation.

Augmented Electoral Commission's proposed electoral divisions

Name of proposed electoral division Boundaries of proposed electoral division
Lingiari As proposed by the Redistribution Committee for the Northern Territory
Solomon As proposed by the Redistribution Committee for the Northern Territory

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusion on objections

An overview of the augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions on the majority of issues raised in objections is presented on this page. A number of objections were unable to be accepted by the augmented Electoral Commission because of the requirement that the number of electors in both electoral divisions in the Northern Territory meet the two numerical requirements of the Electoral Act.

The names of the electoral divisions

Objections referring to this matter: OB4 – Australian Labor Party NT Branch

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed retaining the names of the Divisions of Lingiari and Solomon. One objection supported retaining the names of both electoral divisions. The augmented Electoral Commission noted that no alternative names were advocated by those making objections to the proposed redistribution, commenting on objections or making submissions to the inquiry.

After concluding the Redistribution Committee's proposed names were sound and should stand unchanged, the augmented Electoral Commission proposes the electoral divisions in the Northern Territory will be known as the Division of Lingiari and the Division of Solomon.

The electoral division in which the Wagait Shire is to be located

Objections referring to this matter: OB1 – Lorraine Gardner

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB1 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed the Wagait Shire be retained in the proposed Division of Lingiari. One objection advocated the Shire should be located in the proposed Division of Solomon due to shared communities of interest and transport links.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted the submissions made in this objection, while also noting the observation made in the comment on objection that modifying the proposed boundaries to accommodate this objection would create a non-contiguous electoral division.

The augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound,
  • any alternatives proposed or other adjustments necessary to accommodate these changes within the requirements of the Electoral Act would not result in an improved outcome at this time, and
  • for these reasons, the Redistribution Committee's proposal should stand unchanged.

The Redistribution Committee's proposal should be adopted without alteration

Objections referring to this matter: OB2 – Jeff Waddell, OB3 – Darren McSweeney

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB1 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed altering the boundary between the two divisions such that:

  • the entirety of the Litchfield Municipality is located in the proposed Division of Lingiari, requiring the transfer of the suburbs of Holtze, Knuckey Lagoon, Micket Creek and part of Shoal Bay from the Division of Solomon to the proposed Division of Lingiari, and
  • parts of the Palmerston Municipality are located in the proposed Division of Lingiari, requiring the transfer of the suburbs of Farrar, Johnston, Mitchell, Zuccoli and part of Yarrawonga from the Division of Solomon to the proposed Division of Lingiari.

Two objections supported the Redistribution Committee's proposed redistribution, with one objection observing that the boundary proposed by the Redistribution Committee is simple, strong and logical. The augmented Electoral Commission noted the support expressed in these objections and concluded that the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound and should stand unchanged.

The augmented Electoral Commission determined to accept the boundary as proposed by the Redistribution Committee with no alterations.

The electoral divisions should remain unchanged

Objections referring to this matter: OB4 – Australian Labor Party NT Branch

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB1 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee noted it was necessary to alter the divisional boundaries as neither electoral division fell within the range for the permissible maximum and minimum number of projected electors as at Friday 7 August 2020. Accordingly, the Redistribution Committee was obligated to alter the two electoral divisions to comply with the requirements of the Electoral Act. One objection advocated that the boundary between the two divisions should not be changed.

Noting that the primary factor to be considered in constructing electoral divisions is to ensure the two numerical requirements of the Electoral Act are met, and that both electoral divisions as they existed at the commencement of this redistribution did not meet both requirements, the augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound, and
  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal should stand unchanged.

The electoral division in which the Litchfield Municipality is to be located

Objections referring to this matter: OB2 – Jeff Waddell, OB3 – Darren McSweeney, OB4 – Australian Labor Party NT Branch

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB1 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed the entirety of the Litchfield Municipality should be located in the proposed Division of Lingiari, requiring the transfer of the suburbs of Holtze, Knuckey Lagoon, Micket Creek and part of Shoal Bay from the Division of Solomon to the proposed Division of Lingiari. Of the three objections which supported the Redistribution Committee's proposed location of the Litchfield Municipality, two objections supported the Redistribution Committee's proposal in its entirety. One objection advocated that only the portion of the Litchfield Municipality located in the Division of Solomon should be transferred to the proposed Division of Lingiari.

Noting that the primary factor to be considered in constructing electoral divisions is to ensure the numerical requirements of the Electoral Act are met, and that moving only the Litchfield Municipality would not enable this requirement to be met, the augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound, and
  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal should stand unchanged.

The electoral division in which the suburbs of Farrar, Johnston, Mitchell, Zuccoli and Yarrawonga are to be located

Objections referring to this matter: OB2 – Jeff Waddell, OB3 – Darren McSweeney, OB4 – Australian Labor Party NT Branch

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB1 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed that the suburbs of Farrar, Johnston, Mitchell, Zuccoli and Yarrawonga, in their entirety, should be located in the proposed Division of Lingiari. Two objections supported this proposal. One objection advocated that these suburbs, as a community of interest, should be retained with the remainder of the Palmerston Municipality in the proposed Division of Solomon.

Noting that the adoption of this proposal could result in proposed electoral divisions which would be outside the numerical requirements of the Electoral Act, the augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound,
  • any alternatives proposed or other adjustments necessary to accommodate these changes within the requirements of the Electoral Act would not result in an improved outcome, and
  • for the above reasons, the Redistribution Committee's proposal should stand unchanged.

The alignment of federal electoral division boundaries with suburb boundaries, statistical area boundaries and/or territory electoral division boundaries

Objections referring to this matter: OB3 – Darren McSweeney, OB4 – Australian Labor Party NT Branch

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB1 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: In constructing the boundaries of proposed electoral divisions, the Redistribution Committee sought to:

  • avoid splitting Statistical Area 1s (SA1s), where possible,
  • follow cadastral boundaries, where possible, and
  • keep to administrative boundaries, where possible.

One objection observed that the boundaries selected by the Redistribution Committee were not always readily observable, with a creek bed south of Lambrick Avenue serving more readily as a clearly defined boundary than the border of the suburb of Zuccoli.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted that the boundary proposed is likely to become a major road in the future as the suburbs of Zuccoli and Mitchell expand into the area south of Lambrick Avenue. Accordingly, the alternative proposed would not result in an improved outcome.

One objection argued that regard should be given to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly divisional boundaries in order to ensure that Legislative Assembly divisions are not split across multiple federal electoral divisions.

Noting that the adoption of alternative proposals could result in proposed electoral divisions which would be outside the numerical requirements of the Electoral Act, the augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound,
  • any alternatives proposed or other adjustments necessary to accommodate these changes within the requirements of the Electoral Act would not result in an improved outcome, and
  • for the above reasons, the Redistribution Committee's proposal should stand unchanged.

Enrolment projections

Objections referring to this matter: OB4 – Australian Labor Party NT Branch

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB1 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: For the purposes of this redistribution, projected enrolment as at Friday 7 August 2020 was calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Three papers explaining the calculations to derive these projections were made available on the AEC website in February 2016. One objection challenged the reliability of the projected enrolment, submitting that, at the time the redistribution commenced on Thursday 15 October 2015, the Division of Lingiari was experiencing levels of under-enrolment, with a consequential impact on the derivation of the enrolment projections. This objection further advocated that the augmented Electoral Commission should alter the enrolment projections.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted that the electoral roll is continuously updated. The electoral roll is constantly increasing and decreasing as electors are added to the electoral roll, move between electoral divisions or are removed from the electoral roll. Further, it was noted that these effects are more readily seen when looking at the monthly enrolment figures, which also show that while the level of enrolment increases prior to an electoral event, it may also decrease in the months following an electoral event. The augmented Electoral Commission considered the arguments offered in support of altering the enrolment projections were not sufficient to warrant change.

The augmented Electoral Commission therefore concluded the enrolment projections are sound and should stand unchanged.