Step 6 – announcement of names and boundaries of federal electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory

Updated: 2 July 2018

Overview maps will be available on the website on Friday 13 July 2018. Detailed maps and a report outlining the augmented Electoral Commission's reasons for the formal determination will be tabled in the Federal Parliament and subsequently made publicly available.

The augmented Electoral Commission for the Australian Capital Territory's public announcement of final names and boundaries of federal electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory was made on Tuesday 3 July 2018. Read the augmented Electoral Commission's public announcement.

The augmented Electoral Commission's reasoning behind the names and boundaries of electoral divisions will be contained in its report.

The numerical constraints of the redistribution process

The augmented Electoral Commission was required to consider all objections made to the Redistribution Committee's proposal in the context of the requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act). For the augmented Electoral Commission, the primary requirements contained within sub-section 73(4) are:

  • the number of electors in each electoral division shall, as far as practicable, not deviate from the projected enrolment quota of 99,699 at the projection time of Thursday 13 January 2022 by more than plus or minus 3.5 per cent. As far as practicable, the number of electors enrolled in each electoral division in the Australian Capital Territory at the projection time of Thursday 13 January 2022 must therefore be between 96,210 and 103,188, and
  • the number of electors in each electoral division shall not deviate from the current enrolment quota of 96,115 by more than plus or minus 10 per cent. The number of electors enrolled in each electoral division in the Australian Capital Territory must be between 86,504 and 105,726.

Objections that resulted in the number of electors in an electoral division, or divisions, being outside either of these ranges could not be considered for implementation.

Augmented Electoral Commission's proposed electoral divisions

Name of proposed electoral division Boundaries of proposed electoral division
Bean

As proposed by the Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory with the following change:

  • the suburb of Phillip in its entirety be located in the proposed Division of Bean, meaning that the boundary will be Melrose and Yamba Drives
Canberra

As proposed by the Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory with the following change:

  • the suburb of Phillip in its entirety be located in the proposed Division of Bean, meaning that the boundary will be Melrose and Yamba Drives
Fenner As proposed by the Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory, the boundaries of this electoral division will change to meet the numerical requirements of the Electoral Act

Detailed information about the make-up of the Redistribution Committee’s proposed electoral divisions can be found in Chapter 2 and Appendix M of the Redistribution Committee’s report of Friday 6 April 2018.

Maps of the Redistribution Committee’s proposed electoral divisions are also available.

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions on objections

An overview of the augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions on the majority of issues raised in objections is presented on this page. A number of objections were unable to be accepted by the augmented Electoral Commission because of the requirement that the number of electors in the three electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory meet the two numerical requirements of the Electoral Act.

Objections which have not been discussed below will be discussed in the augmented Electoral Commission’s report when it is published.

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions on objections relating to the names of electoral divisions

The name of the proposed Division of Bean

Objections referring to this matter: More than 55 objections solely concerned with the name of this proposed electoral division were received. These will be listed individually in the augmented Electoral Commission’s report when it is published. Objections which also referred to the name of this proposed electoral division were: OB3 – Roger Bacon, OB8 – Ned O. Strange, OB9 – James Doyle, OB14 – Guy de Cure, OB16 – Campbell Rhodes, OB38 – Martin Gordon, OB40 – Natalie Ragg, OB64 – Richard Tuffin, OB65 – Kim Fischer, OB69 – Jim Mallett and Jack McCaffrie and OB74 – Canberra Liberals.

Comments on objections referring to this matter: More than 20 comments on objections solely concerned with the name of this proposed electoral division were received. These will be listed individually in the augmented Electoral Commission’s report when it is published.  Comments on objections which also referred to the name of this proposed electoral division were: COB12 – Darren McSweeney and COB27 – ACT Labor.

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed renaming the southern electoral division ‘Bean’ in honour and recognition of Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean (1879–1968).

A number of objections to the proposed redistribution and comments on objections supported the Redistribution Committee’s proposal.

A significant number of objections to the proposed redistribution and comments on objections argued that the electoral division should not be named ‘Bean’ and should instead be given a different name.  More than 40 names were offered as alternatives to the name ‘Bean’.  Arguments against the name included:

  • it would be more appropriate to name an electoral division to recognise an Indigenous word or person, a woman and/or a person of a non-Anglo cultural background,
  • Charles Bean may not be an appropriate person after whom to name an electoral division due to views he expressed about Sir John Monash,
  • there were people who were more deserving of having an electoral division named after them, and
  • as a name ‘Bean’ is most associated with the character Mr Bean and such an association would make the electoral division and the member the subject of jokes.

During their deliberations, the augmented Electoral Commission was disappointed by the derogatory views expressed in a number of submissions which denigrated Charles Bean.  The augmented Electoral Commission considers that those who wish to indicate they do not support a proposed name should exercise care with respect to the language they use in elaborating their views.

In regards to arguments related to Charles Bean’s views on Sir John Monash, and the implied attribution to Charles Bean’s character, the augmented Electoral Commission considered the totality of material provided in submissions. This material included excerpts from later writings and correspondence of Charles Bean and information about activities he undertook throughout his life.

The augmented Electoral Commission was not convinced by arguments regarding the suitability of the name ‘Bean’.  It is unreasonable to suggest that worthy individuals who share a name with a comedic character should not be recognised, and notes that objections which argue this are disrespectful to Charles Bean, his family and those whose surname is ‘Bean’. The augmented Electoral Commission considers Australia a sufficiently mature and open-minded society to recognise the achievements of a worthy individual over any subjective views about their name.

Members of the augmented Electoral Commission voted (4-2) in favour to adopt the name ‘Bean’, with those members in favour concluding the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound and follows the naming guidelines for federal electoral divisions.

The electoral division located in the southern region of the Australian Capital Territory is proposed to be known as the Division of Bean.

The name of the proposed Division of Canberra

Objections referring to this matter: OB3 – Roger Bacon, OB9 – James Doyle, OB14 – Guy de Cure, OB74 – Canberra Liberals

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed retaining the name ‘Canberra’ and that this name should be used for the electoral division proposed to be located in the central area of the Australian Capital Territory.

One objection to the proposed redistribution supported the Redistribution Committee’s proposal. Several objections argued the proposed electoral division should be renamed for the following reasons:

  • the name ‘Canberra’ is used as a generic name for the entirety of the Australian Capital Territory and the Federal government, or
  • as the seat of national decision-making, electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory should have Aboriginal names.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted that:

  • while ‘Canberra’ is not itself an Aboriginal name, it is derived from an Aboriginal name thought to mean ‘meeting place’,
  • the meaning of the name ‘Canberra’ continues to be appropriate for the seat of national decision-making, and
  • the Guidelines for naming federal electoral divisions recommend that Aboriginal names should be used where appropriate and as far as possible existing Aboriginal divisional names should be retained.

The augmented Electoral Commission considered ‘Canberra’ to be an appropriate name and the Redistribution Committee’s proposal should stand unchanged.

The electoral division located in the centre of the Australian Capital Territory is proposed be known as the Division of Canberra.

The name of the proposed Division of Fenner

Objections referring to this matter: OB9 – James Doyle, OB14 – Guy de Cure, OB74 – Canberra Liberals

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed retaining the name ‘Fenner’ and that this name should be used for the electoral division proposed to be located in the northern area of the Australian Capital Territory.

Two objections to the proposed redistribution supported the Redistribution Committee’s proposal while one objection argued the electoral division should be renamed ‘Ngunnawal’.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted the proposed name of ‘Ngunnawal’ is that of a suburb located in the northern part of the Australian Capital Territory and the Guidelines for naming federal electoral divisions recommend that locality or place names should generally be avoided. The augmented Electoral Commission therefore concluded the Redistribution Committee’s proposed name was sound and should stand unchanged.

The augmented Electoral Commission proposes the electoral division located in the northern region of the Australian Capital Territory be known as the Division of Fenner.

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions on objections relating to the placement of electoral divisions and divisional boundaries

The electoral division in which Norfolk Island is located

Objections referring to this matter: OB8 – Ned O. Strange, OB39 – Josh Wyndham-Kidd, OB44 – John G. Howard and Rosemary H. Howard, OB46 – Norfolk Island People for Democracy (NIPD)

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB10 – Mervyn Buffett and Clare McPherson, COB12 – Darren McSweeney, COB23 – Professor Dan Howard SC

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: Sub‑section 56AA(2) of the Electoral Act requires:

  • until such time as Norfolk Island is entitled to choose a member of the House of Representatives at a general election, the whole of Norfolk Island shall be included in one electoral division in the Australian Capital Territory, and
  • if there is more than one electoral division in the Australian Capital Territory, Norfolk Island and the Jervis Bay Territory are to be included in different electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory.

At the most recent determination of entitlement to members of the House of Representatives on Thursday 31 August 2017, the Electoral Commissioner determined that Norfolk Island was not entitled to a member in its own right. In accordance with the Electoral Act, Norfolk Island is therefore to be included in an electoral division in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Redistribution Committee proposed Norfolk Island be retained in the southern electoral division, the proposed Division of Bean.

Objections to the proposed redistribution, comments on objections and submissions to the inquiry advocated that:

  • Norfolk Island should be located in the electoral division named ‘Canberra’, or
  • Norfolk Island should not be included in an Australian Capital Territory electoral division.

The augmented Electoral Commission observed that it is required to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act. As such, the augmented Electoral Commission is therefore required to locate Norfolk Island in one of the three Australian Capital Territory electoral divisions.

The augmented Electoral Commission observed that while Norfolk Island could be included in the Division of Canberra, strong reasons for doing so were not advanced in objections and comments on objections.

The augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound,
  • any alternatives proposed or other adjustments necessary to accommodate these changes within the requirements of the Electoral Act would not result in a more beneficial redistribution, and
  • for these reasons, the Redistribution Committee's proposal should stand unchanged.

The augmented Electoral Commission proposes Norfolk Island be located in the proposed Division of Bean.

The electoral division(s) in which the District of Belconnen is located

Objections referring to this matter: OB40 – Natalie Ragg, OB65 – Kim Fischer, OB66 – Eric W Frith, OB74 – Canberra Liberals

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB12 – Darren McSweeney

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed the District of Belconnen be split between the proposed Divisions of Canberra and Fenner.

While there was some support for the Redistribution Committee’s proposed boundary, several objections to the proposed redistribution argued that the District of Belconnen should not be split across electoral divisions. Those opposed argued that splitting the District of Belconnen was needlessly splitting a community of interest and that it was possible to construct electoral divisions without splitting town centres.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted:

  • each of the five town centres does not contain sufficient electors to form an electoral division on its own,
  • when combining multiple adjacent town centres, in their entirety, only one combination meets the numerical requirements of the Electoral Act meaning at least one of the remaining town centres needs to be split, and
  • the primary requirement when constructing electoral divisions is to ensure the two numerical requirements of the Electoral Act are met.

The augmented Electoral Commission further notes that the Redistribution Committee’s proposal reflects elements of the suggestions to the redistribution and comments on suggestions. Those suggestions to the redistribution which addressed the boundaries of electoral divisions split districts, generally allocating the suburbs within the District of Belconnen to different proposed electoral divisions.

The augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee’s proposal was sound,
  • any alternatives proposed or other adjustments necessary to accommodate these changes within the requirements of the Electoral Act would not result in a more beneficial redistribution, and
  • for these reasons, the Redistribution Committee’s proposal should stand unchanged.

The District of Belconnen be split between the proposed Divisions of Canberra and Fenner.

The electoral division(s) in which the District of Woden Valley is located

Objections referring to this matter: OB38 – Martin Gordon, OB40 – Natalie Ragg, OB65 – Kim Fischer, OB66 – Eric W Frith, OB74 – Canberra Liberals

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB3 – Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC), COB7 – Weston Creek Community Council (WCCC), COB12 – Darren McSweeney, COB17 – Greta Nielsen, COB27 – ACT Labor

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed the District of Woden Valley be split between the proposed Divisions of Bean and Canberra.

While there was some support for the Redistribution Committee’s proposed boundary, a number of objections to the proposed redistribution, comments on objections and submissions to the inquiry argued:

  • the suburbs of Lyons, Curtin, Hughes, Garran and Phillip should be included in the proposed Division of Bean,
  • the suburb of Phillip should be located in the same electoral division as the rest of the District of Woden Valley,
  • the District of Woden Valley should not be split across electoral divisions, and
  • the Woden Town Centre should be located in the same electoral division as the community it serves, being the Woden Valley, Weston Creek and Molonglo Valley Districts.

The arguments advanced included that splitting the District of Woden Valley was needlessly splitting a community of interest and that it was possible to construct electoral divisions without splitting town centres.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted:

  • each of the five town centres does not contain sufficient electors to form an electoral division on its own,
  • when combining multiple adjacent town centres, in their entirety, only one combination meets the numerical requirements of the Electoral Act meaning at least one of the remaining town centres needs to be split,, and
  • the primary requirement when constructing electoral divisions is to ensure the two numerical requirements of the Electoral Act are met.

The augmented Electoral Commission further notes that the Redistribution Committee’s proposal reflects elements of the suggestions to the redistribution and comments on suggestions. Those suggestions to the redistribution that addressed the boundaries of electoral divisions split districts, generally allocating the Districts of Weston Creek and Woden Valley to different proposed electoral divisions.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted the suburb of Phillip in its entirety could be located in the proposed Division of Bean. As this change would better reflect communities of interest, the augmented Electoral Commission concluded the Redistribution Committee’s proposal could be improved.

The augmented Electoral Commission proposes the suburb of Phillip in its entirety be located in the proposed Division of Bean with the electoral division boundary in this area being Melrose and Yamba Drives.

The electoral division(s) in which the suburb of Symonston is located

Objections referring to this matter: OB39 – Josh Wyndham-Kidd

Comments on objections referring to this matter: COB12 – Darren McSweeney, COB27 – ACT Labor

Augmented Electoral Commission's conclusions: The Redistribution Committee proposed using Hindmarsh Drive and Canberra Avenue as the boundary between the proposed Divisions of Bean and Canberra, which resulted in the suburb of Symonston being split between the two proposed electoral divisions.

Several objections to the proposed redistribution and comments on objections supported the boundaries proposed by the Redistribution Committee.

Objections to the proposed redistribution and comments on objections argued for the suburb of Symonston in its entirety to be located in the proposed Division of Canberra in order to keep communities of interest together.

The augmented Electoral Commission noted that the Redistribution Committee’s proposal provides a strong and readily identifiable boundary. In contrast, alternative boundaries to accommodate the suburb of Symonston in the proposed Division of Canberra would not result in such readily identifiable boundaries and would split farms and what is a generally cohesive rural part of the Australian Capital Territory.

The augmented Electoral Commission concluded that:

  • the Redistribution Committee's proposal was sound,
  • any alternatives proposed or other adjustments necessary to accommodate these changes within the requirements of the Electoral Act would not result in a more beneficial redistribution, and
  • for these reasons, the Redistribution Committee's proposal should stand unchanged.

The augmented Electoral Commission proposes the suburb of Symonston be split between the proposed Divisions of Bean and Canberra.

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