1999 Redistribution of South Australia into twelve electoral divisions - Final Report: Part 2

Updated: 9 February 2011


21 May 1999
Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918
Section 68


Direction for a redistribution of South Australian Electoral Divisions

  1. Section 59(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act) provides that a Redistribution of a State into Divisions shall commence whenever the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) so directs by notice published in the Gazette.
  2. A direction shall be made if a period of seven years after the day on which the State was last distributed into Electoral Divisions has expired. South Australia was last distributed on 17 January 1992.
  3. The direction must be made within a period of 30 days after the expiration date and the direction was duly made on 10 February 1999 by notice published in the Gazette that a Redistribution was to commence in South Australia.

Appointment of the Redistribution Committee for South Australia

  1. In accordance with Section 60 of the Act, the AEC appointed the Redistribution Committee for South Australia on 15 February 1999.
  2. The Redistribution Committee consists of the following members:
Redistribution Committee
Electoral Commissioner Mr Bill Gray
Australian Electoral Officer for South Australia Mr Geoff Halsey
Surveyor-General for South Australia Mr Peter Kentish
Auditor-General of South Australia Mr Ken MacPherson
  1. The Committee held its first meeting on 13 April 1999.

Invitation to submit Suggestions and Comments

  1. In accordance with Section 64 of the Act the Electoral Commissioner invited written Suggestions and written Comments on those Suggestions by notice published in the Gazette, The Advertiser and The Australian of 17 February 1999.
  2. At the closing date on 19 March 1999 Suggestions had been received from:
    1. The Hon Trish Worth, MP – Member for Adelaide [PDF 171KB]
    2. Christopher Pyne, MP – Member for Sturt [PDF 642KB]
    3. District Council of Loxton Waikerie [PDF 65KB]
    4. The Messinian Association of SA Inc. [PDF 134KB]
    5. Australian Labor Party (SA Branch) [PDF 10.6MB]
    6. Sophie Pantelios [PDF 934KB]
    7. The Liberal Party of Australia, SA Division [PDF 15MB]
    8. Australian Democrats [PDF 284KB]
    9. Greek Community Tribune [PDF 78KB]
    10. M Virgili [PDF 8.3MB]
  3. The period during which Comments could be made on these Suggestions closed on 6 April 1999 and at that date Comments were received from:
    1. City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters [PDF 4.1MB]
    2. The Hon Trish Worth, MP – Member for Adelaide [PDF 145KB]
    3. V Giamarelos [PDF 1.4MB]
    4. Christopher Pyne, MP – Member for Sturt [PDF 962KB]
    5. Professor Harry Green [PDF 46KB]
    6. Australian Labor Party (SA Branch) [PDF 853KB]
    7. Campbelltown City Council [PDF 89KB]
    8. City of Burnside [PDF 361KB]
    9. M Virgili [PDF 4.1MB]
    10. Australian Democrats [PDF 460KB]
    11. The Liberal Party of Australia, SA Division [PDF 768KB]

Statutory requirements for the making of a proposed redistribution

  1. Section 66(1) of the Act requires the Redistribution Committee for South Australia to make a proposed redistribution of the State.
  2. Sections 66(3) and 66(3A) of the Act prescribe that:

    (3)In making the proposed redistribution, the Redistribution Committee:

    1. shall, as far as practicable, endeavour to ensure that, if the State or Territory were redistributed in accordance with the proposed redistribution, the number of electors enrolled in each Electoral Division in the State or Territory would not, at the projection time determined under section 63A, be less than 96.5% or more than 103.5% of the average divisional enrolment of that State or Territory at that time; and
    2. subject to paragraph (a), shall give due consideration, in relation to each proposed Electoral Division, to:
      1. community of interests within the proposed Electoral Division, including economic, social and regional interests;
      2. means of communication and travel within the proposed Electoral Division;
      3. the physical features and area of the proposed Electoral Division; and
      4. the boundaries of existing Divisions in the State or Territory;

    and subject thereto the quota of electors for the State or Territory shall be the basis for the proposed redistribution, and the Redistribution Committee may adopt a margin of allowance, to be used whenever necessary, but in no case shall the quota be departed from to a greater extent than one-tenth more or one-tenth less.

    (3A) When applying subsection (3), the Redistribution Committee must treat the matter in subparagraph (3)(b)(v) as subordinate to the matters in subparagraphs (3)(b)(i), (ii) and (iv).

Impact of the 1998 Amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act

  1. The 1998 Amendments to the Act had the following effects on the making of a redistribution:
    • Introducing provision for the AEC to alter the projection time in which to achieve equality of enrolment when a further redistribution is expected before the usual seven years.
    • Altering the time for striking the quota to the commencement of the redistribution process.
    • Altering the tolerance to be applied in achieving equality of electors at the projection time.
    • Requiring that consideration of the boundaries of existing Divisions be subordinate to the other criteria to be applied in the redistribution.


  1. At the end of 10 February 1999, the day of direction by the AEC that the Redistribution must commence, the number of electors enrolled for the State was 1 024 632.
  2. Under Section 65(2) of the Act, the Electoral Commissioner determined that the quota of electors for South Australia was 85 386 (1 024 632 divided by 12). Thus, the permitted range of the margin of allowance of 10% below and above the quota would be 76 848 to 93 924 respectively. In making its proposals for the State, the Redistribution Committee is not permitted to exceed that range.

Enrolment projections

  1. The recently introduced Section 63A of the Act enables the AEC to determine an earlier projection time, normally three years and six months, where it is of the opinion that a further redistribution may be required sooner than seven years. This Redistribution is the first instance where Section 63A has been able to be applied. On the basis of official population projections provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the AEC was of the opinion that a further redistribution may be required sooner than seven years, and determined the projection time for equality of enrolments for this Redistribution as 30 June 2001. In accordance with Section 63A(4) of the Act, this determination was published in the Gazette on 15 February 1999.
  2. The ABS supplied enrolment projections to the AEC using AEC enrolment data as the base, and used a cohort-component method to project enrolment of each Census Collector District (CCD) to 30 June 2001. Divisional Returning Officers (DROs) were asked to examine the ABS projections in the light of their local knowledge and experience, and to substitute their own projections where appropriate. DROs made use of information supplied by relevant local authority planning and statistical groups, as well as their own resources in undertaking this task. The Australian Electoral Officer for South Australia also reviewed the projections, and any changes made by DROs, to ensure a consistency of approach. The projections were available in both hardcopy and on floppy disk to persons or organisations interested in using them as an indication of the likely growth and as an aid to the preparation of Suggestions or Comments.
  3. Section 66(3)(a) of the Act requires the Committee to "as far as practicable, endeavour to ensure that, if the State or Territory were redistributed in accordance with the proposed redistribution, the number of electors enrolled in each Electoral Division in the State or Territory would not, at the projection time determined under section 63A, be less than 96.5% or more than 103.5% of the average divisional enrolment of that State or Territory at that time".
  4. The projected total enrolment for South Australia at 30 June 2001 is 1 046 875. Thus, the average enrolment of the 12 Divisions at that time would be 87 240 and the 3.5% tolerance above and below that average required that Divisions be constructed in the range between 84 187 and 90 293.

Community of interests, means of communication and travel, physical features and area, and boundaries of existing Divisions

  1. The criteria set out in section 66(3)(b) of the Act – community of interests, means of communication and travel, physical features and area, and boundaries of existing Divisions – are subservient to the two objectives of enrolments in proposed Divisions being within a range of 3.5% above or below the average divisional enrolment at the projection time and current enrolments being within 10% above or below the quota. However, given these two constraints, the Committee sought to ensure that the other criteria were given maximum possible effect, also bearing in mind that the criterion to give regard to the boundaries of existing Divisions is subordinate to the other criteria. Within the constraints imposed by the numerical criteria and the other considerations, the Committee adopted the view that it is highly desirable that electoral boundaries be readily identifiable. Accordingly, the Committee used existing boundaries as well as local government boundaries, locality boundaries, main roads, waterways and other linear features as boundaries.

Suggestions and Comments

  1. When the period for the receipt of Suggestions closed on 19 March 1999, the Committee had received 10 Suggestions. Copies of these were made available for perusal at the office of the Australian Electoral Officer for South Australia from 22 March 1999. In addition, photocopies of the Suggestions, with some omissions due to bulk, were made available to members of the public.
  2. The Committee received 11 written Comments relating to the Suggestions by the close of the Comments period on 6 April 1999.
  3. Detailed Suggestions covering the whole of the State were received from four individuals/organisations with a fifth Suggestion covering the whole of the State but without offering specific boundaries. The remaining five Suggestions were confined to local issues.
  4. Clearly the provision of current and projected enrolment figures to interested parties facilitated this process as most Suggestions took into account the numerical criteria.
  5. The growth rate in the metropolitan area, particularly on the fringes and within Mayo, was recognised in the Suggestions, as was the loss of electors in the north of the State. The Division of Sturt provided a pivotal focus on several Suggestions with different solutions being offered.
  6. Several Suggestions recommended only minor changes be made in order to correct the interdivisional imbalance in elector numbers. Two Suggestions proposed major change to the whole of the State. A number of the Suggestions recommended the Redistribution Committee make use of available tolerances in the formulation of proposed boundaries. Some Suggestions included detailed argument on community of interests and other Section 66(3)(b) criteria to support their proposition and many Suggestions included comprehensive numerical data.
  7. As required by section 64(4) of the Act the Redistribution Committee considered all of the Suggestions and Comments lodged.

Names of proposed Divisions

  1. Naming of federal Divisions has been the subject of a number of recommendations from Parliamentary Committees. The subject was dealt with most recently by the 1995 Inquiry of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. From these recommendations, there has developed a set of guidelines or conventions that have been used by Redistribution Committees. These guidelines were offered to interested persons in the advertising of this Redistribution.
  2. The Committee's deliberations have resulted in proposed Divisions that can be readily identified with the existing 12 Divisions. The Committee therefore proposed retention of the names of the existing Divisions. Only two Suggestions advocated changes to names and, in each case, they had modelled Divisions that were significantly altered from the existing ones.

Technical procedures

  1. The Australian Electoral Commission maintains the electoral roll on the basis of alignment to CCDs, and thus is able to provide statistical data on enrolments and projected enrolments on this basis. Accordingly, in formulating its proposals, the Committee used the CCDs as its basic building block. The State is divided into 3 157 whole or part CCDs as used at the 1996 Population Census. The CCDs each have defined boundaries and are of differing sizes and shapes. Where the Committee considered that a particular CCD boundary was inappropriate for an electoral Division boundary the CCD was split to provide a more useful boundary.
  2. As an aid to the rapid development and testing of various boundary options, the Committee used the AEC Electoral Boundary Mapping System (EBMS) which was developed within the proprietary "MapInfo" software package. EBMS was also made available for public use.

General strategy

  1. The State continues to experience high rates of growth on the outer metropolitan fringe. Growth rates generally are uneven and it is of particular note that there is low growth forecast for the north of the State and the western metropolitan area.
  2. The Committee identified that there was sufficient current enrolment and projected growth in the three existing country Divisions (Barker, Grey and Wakefield) to formulate the boundaries of three new country Divisions within the allowable tolerances.
  3. For the eight metropolitan Divisions and the Division of Mayo the Committee noted a need to transfer projected excess enrolment from the existing outer Divisions of Kingston, Makin and Mayo into the other metropolitan Divisions.
  4. Following an examination of the broad trends and mindful of the Suggestions and Comments, and the criteria laid down in Section 66 of the Act, the Committee chose to model the three country Divisions separately.
  5. The Committee produced a number of country and metropolitan models and from these produced a proposal. In the formation of the proposal the Committee was mindful of voter disruption and the intent of the Act to keep each Division as close to average enrolment as practicable. The application of this strategy is set out in succeeding paragraphs.

The Country:

  1. The former Local Government Area (LGA) of Brown's Well was transferred from Barker to Wakefield, uniting it with the remainder of the recently amalgamated District Council of Loxton Waikerie. That Council urged this in the Suggestions.
  2. The former LGAs of Saddleworth and Auburn, and Riverton (presently in the Division of Wakefield) were united in the Division of Grey with the former LGA of Clare (already in Grey). These previous LGAs now form the recently amalgamated LGA of Clare and Gilbert Valleys. Also, the former LGAs of Robertstown and Eudunda (presently in the Division of Wakefield) were united in the Division of Grey with the former LGAs of Burra Burra and Hallett (already in Grey). These previous LGAs now form the recently amalgamated Regional Council of Goyder.
  3. Most Suggestions for country areas recognised that Grey must move south and the Committee saw the chosen option as the most viable one. Some Suggestions advocated uniting, in Grey, the recently amalgamated District Council of Barunga West but the Committee saw this as unnecessarily dividing the eastern and western portions of the resulting Division of Wakefield and failing to meet the criterion dealing with communication and travel.

The City:

  1. Commencing in the South, the rural areas of Kingston, south east of the Onkaparinga River, were placed into Mayo. Most of the Suggestions urged that this country portion of Kingston should be transferred and the Committee agreed that its character gave it a community of interest with the Division of Mayo. To bring elector numbers closer to tolerance, a small portion of Happy Valley was also placed in Mayo. This also had the result of a more defined boundary in the northeast portion of Kingston, along Education Road, thereby removing confusion for both electors and officials. In keeping with this change, the portion of the existing Kingston/Mayo boundary described by the boundary between the now non-existent LGAs of Noarlunga and Happy Valley was also changed. The proposed new boundary, along Piggott Range Road and then Gosse Road, is the boundary between two localities and is also the boundary adopted by the State Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission in their recent redistribution. This last change displaces only a handful of electors.
  2. With too few electors, Boothby was brought to tolerance by including a section of the metropolitan area of Flagstaff Hill. This area is in the existing Division of Mayo and was recommended for transfer by several Suggestions.
  3. In the northern metropolitan area it was noted that Makin's surplus could only effectively be transferred to Bonython, Mayo or Sturt. The impracticality of transferring that surplus to either Mayo or Sturt, both in terms of defining a suitable boundary and on the basis of lacking a community of interest made it inevitable that the bulk of that surplus must go to Bonython. This was effected through a transfer of electors along the Main North Road border between the Divisions. The section chosen was at the northern end being that part of the City of Salisbury north of The Grove Way (Salisbury Heights) contained in Makin. A transfer at the southern end was also tested but it did not work as well. Of the three Suggestions that advocated a transfer along this section of road, two also used the northern section.
  4. Port Adelaide was brought within tolerance by including the Croydon area from the Division of Adelaide, which also had the effect of aligning the Adelaide/Port Adelaide boundaries with those of the suburbs. Most Suggestions made similar transfers within this area to achieve a satisfactory result for Port Adelaide. As Port Adelaide, whilst within tolerance, was still low on numbers it was given the northwesterly portion of Bonython – bringing each of these Divisions closer to the average and producing an outcome that reflects a number of the Suggestions.
  5. Adelaide and Sturt were considered in combination and were formed through the inclusion, from the existing Mayo, of as much of the City of Tea Tree Gully as was practical. This resulted in the use of Lower North East Road as the boundary. The Committee tested ways of including more of the City of Tea Tree Gully and part, or all, of the City of Campbelltown, but found none of them to be as viable. Many of the Suggestions that proposed a solution for Sturt saw it flowing to the northeast in this manner. The Adelaide/Sturt boundary was neatened along Fullarton Road, as advocated in several Suggestions, and Adelaide gained at Kent Town and Eastwood as a result. Then, to bring Adelaide to tolerance, the existing Sturt provided the suburbs of Northfield, Greenacres and Hampstead Gardens – a portion representing a significant community and an area that has in the past been included in the Division of Adelaide.
  6. The changes set out above also had the effect of achieving tolerance for the Division of Mayo.
  7. As the existing Division of Hindmarsh is already within tolerance, and the Committee did not find it necessary to alter its boundaries to accommodate changes to its neighbours, the Division remains as it is.
  8. The Committee also took the opportunity to tidy up boundaries that have in the past caused confusion for both electors and officials. Accordingly, minor changes were made to the northwestern boundary of the Division of Barker, the eastern boundary of the Division of Bonython and the southeastern boundary of the Division of Sturt. The changes are:
  9. Barker: The previous boundary followed the boundary between the former LGAs of Ridley and Truro, LGAs that were recently amalgamated. Most of the former LGA boundary is still identifiable, in the form of Hundred boundaries, except for the extreme western edge. At that point a new boundary, along the pipeline, has been adopted. Only four electors have been displaced by this change.
  10. Bonython: The previous boundary followed the boundary between the Hundreds of Munno Para and Para Wirra whilst the State District boundaries, both current and proclaimed for their next election, are along Tenafeate Creek. The two boundaries are synchronous along their entire length save for one small portion at the southern end of the boundary. At this point, the creek and the hundred boundary diverge, leaving a single home stranded between them. For administrative convenience, and to simplify the status of the four electors concerned, the proposed boundary is along Tenafeate Creek.
  11. Sturt: The southeastern boundary of Sturt was previously described as the Cleland Conservation Park whilst the State District boundaries, both current and proclaimed for their next election, are that of the boundary between the LGAs of Burnside and Adelaide Hills. No electors are displaced in adopting the State boundary for the Division of Sturt yet it provides an administrative convenience.
  12. Descriptions of the boundaries of each proposed Electoral Division are on the enclosed maps.
Bill Gray Geoff Halsey Peter Kentish Ken MacPherson
Presiding Member Member Member Member

May 1999