This report provides the Redistribution Committee for the Northern Territory's (the Redistribution Committee) proposed redistribution of the Northern Territory into two electoral divisions.
The Redistribution Committee proposes:
This proposal is made available for public discussion and for appropriate modifications or adjustment by the augmented Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory (the augmented Electoral Commission) through the objection and comments on objection process (and inquiry process, if required). The augmented Electoral Commission will finalise the names and boundaries of electoral divisions after carefully considering objections and comments on objections (and oral submissions presented at any inquiry which may be held).
A redistribution of electoral divisions is the process where electoral divisions and their names and boundaries are reviewed, and may be altered, to ensure, as near as practicable:
The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) indicates when a redistribution is to be conducted and the processes and timelines to be following in doing so, including how and when public consultation is to occur.
A redistribution of electoral divisions in the Northern Territory was required as more than seven years have elapsed since the last redistribution was determined. The Northern Territory remains entitled to two members of the House of Representatives.
The redistribution process commenced with a direction from the Electoral Commission on Thursday 15 October 2015. Interested individuals and parties were invited to make written suggestions and written comments on suggestions relating to the redistribution via notices published in:
Six written suggestions were made available for public perusal on Monday 7 March 2016, with one written comment on suggestions also made available on Monday 21 March 2016.
The Redistribution Committee found the written suggestions and comment on suggestions made to the redistribution to be valuable contributions and is appreciative of the time and effort expended by all those who contributed. In developing its proposal, the Redistribution Committee carefully considered all matters in each of these suggestions and the comment on suggestions. The redistribution proposal has been informed by these matters, and complies with all relevant provisions of the Electoral Act.
The Electoral Act requires the Northern Territory to be divided into the same number of electoral divisions as the number of members of the House of Representatives to be chosen in the Northern Territory at a general election. As the Northern Territory is entitled to two members of the House of Representatives, the Redistribution Committee has proposed two electoral divisions for the Northern Territory.
In making its proposed redistribution, the Electoral Act imposes two strict numerical requirements on the Redistribution Committee. These two numerical requirements provide an overall constraint to ensure that there are approximately equal numbers of electors in each electoral division so that each elector in the Northern Territory has equality of representation in the House of Representatives.
All proposed electoral divisions are required to be not more than plus 10 per cent, or less than minus 10 per cent, of the current enrolment quota. At the end of Thursday 15 October 2015, the day on which the redistribution commenced, 129 571 electors were enrolled in the Northern Territory. The current enrolment quota was therefore 64 786. As the Electoral Act requires electoral divisions to be within plus or minus 10 per cent of this quota, the Redistribution Committee was required to construct electoral divisions which contain between 58 308 and 71 264 electors.
All proposed electoral divisions are also required to be not more than plus 3.5 per cent, or less than minus 3.5 per cent, of the projected enrolment quota at the projection time of Friday 7 August 2020. As the number of electors projected to be enrolled in the Northern Territory at this time is 141 376, and the projected enrolment quota is 70 688, the Redistribution Committee was required to construct electoral divisions which are projected to contain between 68 214 and 73 162 electors on Friday 7 August 2020.
In relation to each proposed electoral division, the Redistribution Committee is also required by the Electoral Act to give due consideration to:
The Redistribution Committee can only balance the different criteria against each other so far as they affect each of the two electoral divisions in the Northern Territory, and try and achieve the best balance overall. Given the primacy of the two numerical requirements, it is impossible to satisfy all the statutory criteria to the same extent in both electoral divisions.
The Redistribution Committee is also required to locate the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Territory of Christmas Island in the same electoral division in the Northern Territory.
The redistribution proposal covers:
The Redistribution Committee proposes retaining the names of both the Division of Lingiari and the Division of Solomon.
Four of the six suggestions received addressed the issue of the naming of electoral divisions, with each advocating the existing names be retained.
The Redistribution Committee's reasons for this proposal are set out in Chapter 2 of this report.
The Redistribution Committee was required 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. As a consequence, the Redistribution Committee was obligated to alter the existing divisional boundaries until this requirement could be met.
The Redistribution Committee sought to redraw the boundaries such that electors from the division with higher projected enrolment (the Division of Solomon) supplemented the electoral division which had to grow to satisfy the numerical requirements of the Electoral Act (the Division of Lingiari). As a result, the Redistribution Committee proposes altering the current boundary between the Divisions of Lingiari and Solomon such that:
In moving these areas, the Redistribution Committee was mindful to consider the legislative requirements.
The proposed Division of Lingiari will consist of:
The proposed Division of Solomon will consist of:
The Redistribution Committee considers the proposed redistribution of the Northern Territory will result in electoral divisions which:
This proposal is also consistent with:
Overall, 2 680 electors enrolled in the Northern Territory (or 2.07 per cent of all electors enrolled in the Northern Territory on Thursday 15 October 2015) will change their federal electoral division as a result of the proposed redistribution.
Interested individuals and organisations are able to consider the Redistribution Committee's proposed names and boundaries of electoral divisions for the Northern Territory, together with the Redistribution Committee's reasons for this proposed redistribution. Those interested can then provide objections to the proposal, together with comments on objections, for consideration by the augmented Electoral Commission.
All objections and comments on objections received, together with oral submissions made at any inquiry, will be considered by the augmented Electoral Commission as part of developing their proposed redistribution prior to making a final determination of the names and boundaries of electoral divisions in the Northern Territory.
Chapter 3 outlines the timetable for this determination to be made.
Changes to electoral divisions as a result of this redistribution will apply from the day on which a notice of determination is published in the Gazette. This notice will be published on Tuesday 7 February 2017.
The electoral divisions which applied at the federal general election on Saturday 2 July 2016 were therefore the same as those which applied at the 2013 federal general election.