This report provides the augmented Electoral Commission for Western Australia’s (the augmented Electoral Commission’s) redistribution of Western Australia into 16 electoral divisions.
The augmented Electoral Commission’s redistribution differs from the Redistribution Committee for Western Australia’s (Redistribution Committee’s) proposal by:
The augmented Electoral Commission has adopted all other elements of the Redistribution Committee’s proposed redistribution.
The new electoral division is located in the City of Armadale and the City of Gosnells area of the south-eastern Perth metropolitan region and is named ‘Burt’ to honour succeeding generations of the Burt family for their significant contributions to the justice system and for their wider contributions to public service.
A redistribution of electoral divisions is the process where electoral divisions and their boundaries and names are reviewed, and may be altered, to ensure, as near as practicable:
The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) provides when a redistribution is to be conducted and the processes and timelines to be followed in doing so, including how and when public consultation is to occur.
A redistribution of electoral divisions in Western Australia was required because the number of members of the House of Representatives that are to be chosen for Western Australia at the next general election has increased from 15 to 16.
The redistribution process commenced on Monday 1 December 2014 with an Electoral Commission direction.
The Redistribution Committee released its proposed redistribution on Friday 21 August 2015. Interested individuals and parties were invited to make written objections to the proposed redistribution and written comments on objections via notices published in:
Twenty-eight objections were made available for public perusal on Monday 21 September 2015 and 10 written comments on objections were made publicly available from Monday 5 October 2015. An inquiry into objections was held in Perth on Tuesday 27 October 2015 at which six oral submissions were made.
The augmented Electoral Commission found the written submissions made throughout the redistribution process, together with the submissions presented by those participating in the inquiry, to be a valuable contribution and is appreciative of the time and effort expended by all those who contributed. The redistribution has been informed by a thorough consideration of these submissions, and complies with all relevant provisions of the Electoral Act.
The redistribution covers:
In determining the boundaries of electoral divisions in a state, the Electoral Act requires the augmented Electoral Commission to ensure the enrolment numbers for each electoral division remain within the two ranges of the permissible maximum and minimum number of electors in an electoral division.
At the end of Monday 1 December 2014, the day on which the redistribution commenced, 1 504 413 electors were enrolled in Western Australia. The current enrolment quota was therefore 94 026. As the Electoral Act requires electoral divisions to be within plus or minus 10 per cent of this quota, the augmented Electoral Commission was required to construct electoral divisions which contain between 84 623 and 103 428 electors.
The augmented Electoral Commission is also required to ensure the number of electors in each electoral division will be within 3.5 per cent of the projected enrolment quota at the projection time of Wednesday 8 February 2017. As the number of electors projected to be enrolled in Western Australia at this time is 1 594 973, and the projected enrolment quota is 99 686, the augmented Electoral Commission was required to construct electoral divisions which are projected to contain between 96 197 and 103 175 electors on Wednesday 8 February 2017.
Constructing a new electoral division will, of necessity, result in significant elector movement into the new electoral division and will also require consequential boundary changes and elector movements across the state to ensure that all electoral divisions remain within the two permissible ranges. The augmented Electoral Commission noted that the Redistribution Committee’s proposal met the requirements of the Electoral Act and provided electoral divisions that accommodated future growth while recognising and maintaining communities of interest and using strong boundaries where possible.
After careful consideration of the Redistribution Committee’s proposed redistribution, the objections and comments on objections received and further information provided in oral submissions at the inquiry, the augmented Electoral Commission adopted the Redistribution Committee’s proposal with some minor changes to better reflect communities of interest.
The augmented Electoral Commission has adopted the Redistribution Committee’s proposal to locate the new electoral division in the City of Armadale and the City of Gosnells area of the south-eastern Perth metropolitan region.
The augmented Electoral Commission agreed with much of what was proposed by the Redistribution Committee but found some areas where improvements could be made.
As the retention of the locality of North Fremantle within the Division of Fremantle, the locality of Crawley within the Division of Curtin, and the Shire of Wandering within the Division of O’Connor were able to be accommodated within the permissible ranges for the number of electors within an electoral division, the augmented Electoral Commission made these changes. While acknowledging the merits of a number of other ideas advocated in objections, comments on objections and submissions to the inquiry, they were unable to be accepted because the resultant adjustments to the boundaries led to electoral divisions which fell outside the permissible ranges. Any alternative adjustments would, in the augmented Electoral Commission’s opinion, have caused significant flow-on effects for other electoral divisions across Western Australia under the requirements of the Electoral Act.
The Redistribution Committee proposed:
The main argument advanced in objections to the proposed name of the new division, and in comments on objections, was the potential for elector confusion which could result from electoral divisions at different levels sharing the same name following a proposal to also name a state electoral district ‘Burt’. The augmented Electoral Commission did not consider this to be a compelling reason to overturn the Redistribution Committee’s proposal.
The augmented Electoral Commission was unanimous in its decision to:
The augmented Electoral Commission’s electoral division names have been offered for the reasons set out in Chapter 2 of this report.
Overall, 261 108 electors enrolled in Western Australia (or 17.36 per cent of all electors enrolled in Western Australia on Monday 1 December 2014) will change their federal electoral division as a result of the redistribution.