Proposed redistribution of Northern Territory into electoral divisions

Updated: 9 September 2016

Chapter 3 What's next?

This chapter outlines the legislative requirements following the release of the proposed redistribution, through to the final determination of the names and boundaries of electoral divisions in the Northern Territory.

  1. This report sets out 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. Interested individuals and organisations are able to consider this proposal and provide their thoughts prior to the final determination of electoral division names and boundaries by the augmented Electoral Commission on Tuesday 7 February 2017.
  2. Appendix I sets out the timetable for the remainder of this redistribution.

Invitation for objections

  1. Written objections to any aspect of the proposed redistribution must be lodged with the Electoral Commission by 6pm (ACST) on Friday 7 October 2016.42 Any objections received after this time will not be able to be considered.

What can objections be about?

  1. Objections may concern any aspect of the Redistribution Committee's proposal and may refer to one or more proposed electoral divisions. Objections may be about:
    • the proposed names of electoral divisions,
    • the proposed boundaries of electoral divisions, or
    • the proposed names and proposed boundaries of electoral divisions.

Invitation to provide comments on objections

  1. All objections received will be made available for public inspection from Monday 10 October 2016 on the AEC website and at the office of the Australian Electoral Officer for the Northern Territory in Darwin.43
  2. Interested individuals and organisations can then lodge written comments on the objections with the Electoral Commission up until 6pm (ACST) on Friday 21 October 2016.44 Comments received after this time will not be able to be considered.
  3. All comments received will be made available for public inspection from Monday 24 October 2016 on the AEC website and at the office of the Australian Electoral Officer for the Northern Territory in Darwin.45

What can comments on objections be about?

  1. Comments on objections may concern any topic raised in objections to the Redistribution Committee's proposal and may refer to one or more proposed electoral divisions. Comments on objections may be about:
    • one or more objections to the Redistribution Committee's proposal,
    • the proposed names of electoral divisions,
    • the proposed boundaries of electoral divisions, or
    • the proposed names and proposed boundaries of electoral divisions.

Who considers objections and comments on objections?

  1. Written objections and comments on objections are considered by the augmented Electoral Commission.46 The membership of the augmented Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory is outlined in Table H.
    Table H: Membership of the augmented Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory
    Position on the augmented Electoral Commission Name Basis for membership
    Chairperson The Hon. Dennis Cowdroy OAM QC Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
    Member Mr David Kalisch Non-judicial member of the Electoral Commission
    Member* Mr Tom Rogers Electoral Commissioner
    Member* Mr Mick Sherry Australian Electoral Officer for the Northern Territory
    Member* Mr Craig Sandy Surveyor-General of the Northern Territory
    Member* Ms Julie Crisp Northern Territory Auditor-General

    Note: Asterisk indicates the members of the Redistribution Committee (chaired by Mr Rogers).

  2. As part of its considerations, the augmented Electoral Commission may hold an inquiry into any objection or comment on objection.47

The second redistribution proposal

  1. At the conclusion of its considerations, the augmented Electoral Commission will announce its own proposed redistribution.48 If the augmented Electoral Commission considers that this proposal is significantly different from the Redistribution Committee's proposal, the augmented Electoral Commission will invite further objections.49 Advice will be provided should this prove necessary.

What factors will the augmented Electoral Commission consider when making their proposed redistribution of the Northern Territory?

  1. The Electoral Act requires the augmented Electoral Commission to comply with the following factors when making their proposed redistribution:
    • the Northern Territory is 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 election50
      • As the Northern Territory is entitled to two members of House of Representatives, as determined by the then acting Electoral Commissioner on 13 November 2014, the augmented Electoral Commission will propose two electoral divisions for the Northern Territory.
    • the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Territory of Christmas Island are to be included in the same electoral division in the Northern Territory51
    • consideration of all objections and comments on objections received by the lodgement time52
      • All written objections received by 6pm (ACST) Friday 7 October 2016 and all written comments on objections received by 6pm (ACST) Friday 21 October 2016 will be considered by the augmented Electoral Commission in the development of their proposed redistribution.
    • as far as practicable, the number of electors enrolled in each electoral division in the Northern Territory at the projection time would not be more than plus 3.5 per cent, or less than minus 3.5 per cent, of the projected enrolment quota53
      • 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 be between 68 214 and 73 162.
    • the number of electors enrolled in each electoral division in the Northern Territory would not be more than plus 10 per cent, or less than minus 10 per cent, of the current enrolment quota54
      • The number of electors enrolled in each electoral division in the Northern Territory must be between 58 308 and 71 264.
    • in relation to each proposed electoral division, give due consideration to:55
      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
      1. the physical features and area of the proposed electoral division, and
      2. the boundaries of existing electoral divisions in the Northern Territory, with this factor being subordinate to the consideration i, ii and iv.

Final determination of names and boundaries of electoral divisions

  1. The augmented Electoral Commission will make a final determination of the names and boundaries of the electoral divisions for the Northern Territory by notice published in the Gazette on Tuesday 7 February 2017.56
  2. Copies of the augmented Electoral Commission's determination and reasons for that determination, together with the work of the Redistribution Committee, will be tabled in both houses of the Parliament of Australia.57 Once this has occurred, this material will be made available to the public via the AEC website.

How to lodge an objection or comment on an objection

  1. Objections and comments on objections should be lodged via the AEC website at www.aec.gov.au/nt-redistribution. Objections and comments on objections can also be submitted:
    • by email to: FedRedistribution-NT@aec.gov.au
    • in person during business hours to: The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), at Level 7, TCG Centre, 80 Mitchell Street, Darwin, NT
    • by mail to: The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), GPO Box 21, Darwin NT 0801
    • by fax to: 08 6363 8016

Further information

  1. A wide range of information is available on the AEC's website, including:

  1. Paragraph 68(2)(a) of the Electoral Act requires written objections to be lodged with the Electoral Commission before 6pm on the 4th Friday after publication of the notice in the Gazette inviting written objections.
  2. Sub-sections 69(2) and (5) of the Electoral Act require copies of the objections lodged prior to the lodgement time to made available for perusal in the office of the Australian Electoral Officer for the Northern Territory on the 5th Monday after publication of the invitation in the Gazette.
  3. Paragraph 68(2)(b) of the Electoral Act requires written comments on objections to be lodged with the Electoral Commission before 6pm on the 6th Friday after publication of the invitation in the Gazette.
  4. Sub-sections 69(4) and (5) of the Electoral Act require copies of the objections lodged prior to the lodgement time to made available for perusal in the office of the Australian Electoral Officer for the Northern Territory on the 7th Monday after publication of the invitation in the Gazette.
  5. Sub-section 70(1) of the Electoral Act requires that, for the purposes of a redistribution of the Northern Territory, there is established an augmented Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory. The membership of the augmented Electoral Commission is specified by sub-section 70(2) of the Electoral Act.
  6. Sub-section 72(3) requires the augmented Electoral Commission to hold an inquiry into an objection under certain circumstances. The manner in which inquiries into objections is to be conducted is specified in sub-sections 72(4) to 72(9) of the Electoral Act.
  7. Once its inquiries into objections are completed, sub-section 72(10) of the Electoral Act requires the augmented Electoral Commission to make a proposed redistribution of the Territory and make a public announcement.
  8. Sub-section 72(13) of the Electoral Act outlines the requirements for the further objections process.
  9. This is required by sub-section 73(3) of the Electoral Act.
  10. Section 56A of the Electoral Act requires the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Territory of Christmas Island to be included in the same electoral division of the Northern Territory.
  11. Sub-section 72(1) of the Electoral Act requires the augmented Electoral Commission to consider all objections and comments on objections.
  12. This is required by paragraph 73(4)(a) of the Electoral Act.
  13. This is required by sub-section 73(4) of the Electoral Act.
  14. These requirements are specified in paragraph 73(4)(b) and sub-section 73(4A) of the Electoral Act.
  15. In accordance with sub-section 73(1) of the Electoral Act, the names and boundaries of electoral divisions are determined when the augmented Electoral Commission publishes a notice in the Gazette.
  16. As soon as practicable after the determination of the redistribution, sub-section 75(1) of the Electoral Act requires specified information produced during the course of the redistribution to be provided to the Minister. Sub-section 75(2) requires this material to be laid before each House of the Parliament within five sitting days of that House after a copy has been provided to the Minister.
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