Electoral Newsfile 68: 1997 Redistribution of Federal Electoral Boundaries - Final Boundaries for Queensland

Updated: 9 August 2011

On 28 February 1997, the Electoral Commissioner, Mr Bill Gray, determined that as a result of population changes between the States and Territories, the representative entitlement of Queensland in the House of Representatives would change. As a result of this determination, Queensland will gain a seat at the next general election. Further details of the 1997 redistribution process of Queensland are contained in Electoral Newsfile numbers 62 and 64.

The new federal electoral boundaries for the 27 divisions for Queensland have been finalised by the augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland.

Electoral Newsfile number 64 (July 1997) outlined the proposals of the Redistribution Committee for Queensland. The augmented Electoral Commission reviewed the proposed redistribution for the State and considered all 71 objections to the proposal as well as the material put before it during public hearings held in September 1997.

The augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland substaintally adopted the proposal of the Redistribution Committee, except for a number of changes arising from the objections process.

Changes to the redistribution proposal

The changes made by the augmented Commission to the redistribution proposal are as follows:

Divisions of Oxley and Blair

Various concerns were expressed regarding the split of Ipswich central business district in the first proposal. In addressing these concerns, the Commission has transferred parts of Tivoli, North Ipswich and Churchill into Blair in exchange for those areas of Ipswich and West Ipswich bounded by the Rosewood railway line, Bremer River and Deebing Creek now transferred back to Oxley.

Divisions of Ryan and Moreton

The part of Corinda north of Clewley Street has been returned to Ryan.

Divisions of Brisbane, Petrie and Lilley

The portion of Stafford bounded by Kedron Brook, Webster Road and Stafford Road has been returned to Brisbane from the proposed Division of Petrie while the Lilley/Petrie boundary has been moved west to follow the Gateway Arterial Road rather than the Deagon Deviation.

Divisions of Fisher and Longman

Two changes have been made to these Divisions. The proposed southeastern boundary of Fisher has been moved further south to incorporate that part of Bribie Island and the adjoining mainland included in Caloundra City. At Mooloolah, the Fisher boundary has been moved south to encompass the village by following the railway line and State Forest boundary.

Divisions of Fairfax and Wide Bay

There were objections to the proposal to split the coastal communities of Cooloola Shire with the Tin Can Bay area in Wide Bay and the remainder of Cooloola Shire transferred to Fairfax. The Commission has added Rainbow Beach and the other coastal parts of the Shire to Wide Bay.

Summary of Movement of Electors between Divisions

Number of electors remaining in their previous Division: 1 831 196 (86.82%)

Number of electors transferred to another Division: 278 081 (13.18%)

Divisions of Kennedy and Leichhardt

In the face of strong objections from political parties and a number of individuals, including the Member for Kennedy, the augmented Electoral Commission agreed that the part of Carpentaria Shire including the communities of Pormpuraw and Kowanyama as well as the part of Mareeba Shire from Mt Molloy through Kuranda be returned to Leichhardt. To compensate for this change, additional parts of the Cairns City local government area south of Edmonton and including all of Gordonvale have been transferred to Kennedy in an extension of the changes to this area proposed by the Redistribution Committee.

Conclusion of redistribution process

The augmented Electoral Commission considered the merit of other changes proposed in objections but concluded that the criteria of the Commonwealth Electoral Act were able to be met more completely by retaining the proposals made by the Redistribution Committee. Of particular note in this regard were the wide range of changes advocated by a number of objectors to the Shires inland of Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rockhampton.

The augmented Commission resolved that the agreed changes were not significant and, therefore, the redistribution process was concluded without the need for further objections or hearings.

A final report on the 1997 Queensland redistribution process will be available following tabling in Federal Parliament in early 1998.

What is a redistribution?

A redistribution is a redrawing of electoral boundaries to ensure that, as nearly as practicable, there are the same number of electors in each Division for a given State or Territory. A quota is used to determine the number of Divisions each State and Territory is entitled to.

At the time of the redistribution, the number of people enrolled in each electoral Division may not vary from the quota by more or less than 10 percent. The boundaries are also drawn with the aim that three and a half years after the redistribution, the number of people enrolled in each Division should be within plus or minus two percent of the average.

What causes a redistribution?

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 defines three triggers that can cause a redistribution:

  1. when the number of parliamentary representatives to which a State or Territory is entitled has changed; or
  2. when the number of electors in more than one-third of the Divisions in a State or in one of the Divisions in the ACT deviates from the average Divisional enrolment by more or less than 10 percent in three consecutive months; or
  3. when seven years have elapsed since the last redistribution.

Previous redistributions in Queensland

Redistributions were held in Queensland in 1991 and 1994, triggered each time by population movements. In 1991, Queensland gained the seat of Dickson bringing the State's representative entitlement in the House of Representatives to 25. In 1994, the addition of the seat of Longman brought Queensland's entitlement to 26 seats. As a result of this 1997 redistribution process, Queensland will gain another seat at the next general election bringing the total to 27. The new division is called Blair in honour of Mr Harold Blair AO (1924–1976), a noted Australian tenor and Aboriginal activist.

When do the new boundaries come into effect?

The new boundaries come into effect at the next general election for Federal Parliament. Any by-elections held prior to the next general election will be conducted on existing boundaries.


Determination of Quota at 30 May 1997
Number of Divisions into which Queensland is to be distributed 27
Number of electors enrolled in Queensland 2 109 277
Quota for Queensland 78 121
Permissible maximum number of electors in a Division 85 933
Permissible minimum number of electors in a Division 70 309
Enrolment Projections at June 2001
Projected enrolment in Queensland 2 310 859
Average projected enrolment of 27 Divisions 85 587
Number of electors 2% above average projected enrolment 87 298
Number of electors 2% below average projected enrolment 83 876
Statistical Summary of the Redistributed Divisions
Name of Division Number of electors at 30 May 1997 % above or below quota at 30 may 1997 Projected enrolment at June 2001 % above or below average enrolment at June 2001 Area (in square kilometres)
Blair 72 966 -6.60 84 185 -1.64 15 095
Bowman 76 779 -1.72 84 619 -1.13 600
Brisbane 85 909 9.97 84 862 -0.85 72
Capricornia 80 986 3.67 89 964 1.61 235 400
Dawson 81 653 4.52 87 199 1.88 22 440
Dickson 75 459 -3.41 85 215 -0.44 754
Fadden 74 614 -4.49 84 556 -1.21 591
Fairfax 72 150 -7.64 84 279 -1.53 4 270
Fisher 71 713 -8.20 87 270 1.97 558
Forde 71 256 -8.79 86 565 1.14 4 873
Griffith 82 894 6.11 84 833 -0.88 123
Groom 78 569 0.57 84 434 -1.35 6 417
Herbert 80 973 3.65 87 198 1.88 2 966
Hinkler 75 824 -2.94 84 004 -1.85 15 427
Kennedy 83 795 7.26 87 258 1.95 562 160
Leichhardt 75 740 -3.05 87 245 1.94 150 236
Lilley 85 588 9.56 85 646 0.07 139
Longman 71 724 -8.19 86 794 1.41 1 984
McPherson 77 520 -0.77 86 449 1.01 369
Maranoa 81 951 4.90 84 811 -0.91 650 504
Moncrieff 77 746 -0.48 85 133 -0.53 182
Moreton 83 770 7.23 85 416 -0.20 107
Oxley 76 131 -2.55 84 305 -1.50 669
Petrie 82 364 5.43 85 354 0.27 149
Rankin 74 090 -5.16 85 390 -0.23 151
Ryan 81 440 4.25 85 827 -0.28 238
Wide Bay 75 673 -3.13 85 048 -0.63 53 826
Total 2 109 277   2 310 859   53 826


28 February 1997 – Redistribution triggered

The Electoral Commissioner, Mr Bill Gray, determined that as a result of population changes between the States and Territories, the representative entitlement of Queensland in the House of Representatives would change. As a result of this determination, Queensland will gain a seat at the next general election.

3 April – Redistribution Committee appointed

The Redistribution Committee was appointed for the Queensland redistribution.

16 April – Public suggestions and comments invited

The Redistribution Committee invited public suggestions regarding the redistribution.

16 May – Suggestions closed

The Redistribution Committee received nine suggestions from the public on the drawing of the boundaries.

30 May – Comments on suggestions closed and Quota struck

Following the suggestions period, comments on the suggestions were accepted for a 14–day period, ending on 30 May. Seven comments on the suggestions were received.

The Electoral Commissioner determined the Quota of electors in Queensland to be 78 121.

28 July – Proposal of Redistribution Committee and objections invited

Detailed maps showing the proposed boundaries and names of Divisions, statistical tables and the Committee's reasons were published. The Committee proposed that all the existing divisional names be retained and the new Division be named Blair.

The official Gazette notice inviting objections against the proposal was also published, with a closing date of 25 August.

25 August – Objections closed

The Redistribution Committee received 71 objections against its proposal.

11 September – Public hearings into objections

The augmented Electoral Commission held an enquiry into the 71 objections against the proposal. At the public hearings, eight submissions were made.

10 December – Redistribution determined

Having considered the proposed redistribution and the objections, the augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland decided that, except for a number of changes arising from the objections process, the Committee's proposals were warranted and announced its decision to that effect.

The augmented Electoral Commission's determination was published in the Gazette on 10 December and a final report is being prepared and will be tabled in Parliament in due course.

Augumented Electoral Commission for Queensland

The members of the augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland are:

Chairperson of the Australian Electoral Commission Hon Trevor Morling QC

Australian Electoral Commissioner Mr Bill Gray

Non-Judicial Member of the Australian Electoral Commission Mr Bill McLennan

Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland Mr Bob Longland

General Manager, Surveying and Mapping, Queensland Department of Natural Resources Mr Graeme Rush

Queensland State Auditor-General Mr Barrie Rollason

AEC contact numbers
Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland
Bob Longland (07) 3834 3400

Director Information
Brien Hallett (02) 6271 4415

Assistant Directors Information
Anthea Wilson (02) 6271 4548
Silvana Puizina (02) 6271 4431

Editor, Newsfile
Bernadette O'Meara (02) 6271 4505

New South Wales (02) 9375 6333

Victoria (03) 9285 7171

Queensland (07) 3834 3400

Western Australia (08) 9470 7299

South Australia (08) 8237 6555

Tasmania (03) 6235 0500

Northern Territory (08) 8981 1477

Or call 13 23 26 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call.

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