Augmented Electoral Commission Decides Boundaries And Names For Qld

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16th October 2009, 01:28pm - Views: 650
Augmented Electoral Commission decides boundaries and names for Federal Electoral Divisions in Queensland

The augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland today announced the outcome of its deliberations on the boundaries and names for the 30 federal electoral divisions in Queensland, in accordance with a requirement of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

The Hon Peter Heerey QC, the presiding member of the augmented Electoral Commission, said that it had adopted the redistribution proposed by the Redistribution Committee for Queensland, which was published on 24 July 2009, with some changes.

Details of the augmented Electoral Commission.s proposed redistribution are explained in the attachment following this media release.

The augmented Electoral Commission considers that its proposal is not significantly different from that proposed by the Redistribution Committee. Therefore, a further objection period and further hearings are not required.

The formal determination of the boundaries and names of the electoral divisions will be gazetted on 15 December 2009.

Final maps and a report setting out the Commission.s reasons will be tabled in the Federal Parliament after the formal determination is made, and will then be publicly released.

Information about the redistribution can be obtained from the AEC website at the following link: http://www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/2009/qld/index.htm
The July 2009 report of the Redistribution Committee can also be accessed under this heading. Attachment follows (three pages).

Attachment to AEC Media Release:

Augmented Electoral Commission decides boundaries and names for Federal Electoral Divisions in Queensland

The presiding member of the augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland, the Hon Peter Heerey QC, announced that it had adopted the proposal of the Redistribution Committee for Queensland, published on 24 July 2009, with some changes, following the augmented Electoral Commission.s consideration of all objections and comments on objections made in respect of the Redistribution Committee.s proposal, and the holding of a public inquiry involving the hearing of submissions in Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane. There were 555 objections received in relation to the Redistribution Committee.s proposal and 19 comments on objections. Of these objections, approximately 450 were in relation to the proposed change to the boundary between the divisions of Dawson and Herbert, and 31 related to the name of the new division.

The Redistribution Committee's proposal, as changed below, stands as the proposed redistribution of Queensland made by the augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland.

The substance of the findings or conclusions of the augmented Electoral Commission concerning the objections and the Redistribution Committee.s proposal are as follows.

The new division to be created in Queensland will be located in the South East of the State, as proposed by the Redistribution Committee. It will be named 'Wright'. Judith Wright (1915-2000) was a distinguished poet. During her life she campaigned on conservation issues and Aboriginal rights. For 20 years of her life she lived at Mt Tamborine, which is within the new division.

The augmented Electoral Commission received a number of submissions proposing the name Waters, after the late Len Waters (1924-1993). The augmented Electoral Commission acknowledges that Len Waters was an outstanding Australian. Len Waters, an Indigenous Australian, left school at 13 and worked as a shearer. He joined the RAAF, qualified as a fighter pilot, and flew some 95 combat missions in New Guinea and Borneo.

In all the circumstances, particularly having regard to the late Judith Wright's connection with the locality of the new division, in the opinion of the augmented Electoral Commission, the name "Wright" should be adopted.

The augmented Electoral Commission, after consideration of all matters brought before it, acceded to a number of objections to better reflect community of interest issues. In addition, some of the augmented Electoral Commission's changes retained more of the existing boundaries and as a result, the extent of elector movements has been reduced.

The effect of these decisions are:

*The new division of Wright is to be altered on its north eastern boundary, with Boronia Heights and part of Greenbank to be transferred to the proposed Forde from Rankin rather than to the proposed Wright, with a complementary transfer of part of Jimboomba, Logan Village, Stockleigh and Yarrabilba from Forde to the proposed Wright;

The effect of these decisions are (cont):

*Kuranda, bounded by the Clohesy and Barron Rivers and Armstrong, Mona Mona and Black Mountain Roads, is to remain in Leichhardt rather than being transferred to Kennedy, and the boundary between Kennedy and Leichhardt will then generally follow Tablelands Regional Council boundary, McLeod River and the existing boundary on the Mitchell River;

*Montville is to remain in Fisher rather than being split between Fairfax and Fisher and more of Palmwoods is to be transferred from Fisher into Fairfax;

*That part of the former Pine Shire Council proposed to transfer to Longman is to remain in Dickson and less of Kallangur is to be transferred from Longman to Dickson;

*Brighton, Deagon, Sandgate and Shorncliffe are to remain in Lilley;

*Aspley (part), Bridgeman Downs (part), Carseldine and Fitzgibbon are to remain in Petrie;

*That part of Toowong proposed to transfer to Brisbane is to remain in Ryan;

*All of Underwood is to remain in Rankin rather than being transferred in part to Moreton;

*More of the locality of Oxley, south of Ipswich Rd, is to be transferred to Moreton from Oxley;

*That part of the Dalby Regional Council (now Western Downs Regional Council) in Flynn is to be transferred to Maranoa;

*One Census Collection District in the Burdekin Shire Council is to be transferred from Dawson to Kennedy, thus making greater use of the Burdekin River as Kennedy's boundary.

The augmented Electoral Commission concluded that a number of objections failed to meet the criterion relating to projected enrolment numbers. In a number of cases where compensatory adjustments to the enrolment numbers could have been made elsewhere, the augmented Electoral Commission concluded that other criteria in s.66 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 were more appropriately met by the Redistribution Committee's proposal.

This was the case in respect of Annandale and Wulguru in Townsville for which approximately 450 objections were received. The augmented Electoral Commission, while acknowledging the merits of these objections, was unable to accede to them because of the overriding requirement that the projected numbers for each division in the State fall within the statutory limits. Any alternative adjustments would, in the augmented Electoral Commission's opinion, have caused significant flow-on effects for other divisions across the State under the criteria set by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

In relation to Annandale and Wulguru, the augmented Electoral Commission acknowledges the comments of the Redistribution Committee that "... boundaries gradually move into regional centres over the course of successive redistributions" (paragraph 69 of the proposal report) and "The enrolment projections do not ... allow all regional centres ... to be contained entirely within electoral divisions without significant changes to existing boundaries. Such boundary changes would have a major and, in the estimation of the Committee, undesirable impact on electors." (paragraph 70 of the proposal report). The augmented Electoral Commission could not find a more appropriate alternative to the proposed boundaries and notes that 83.87% of electors, based on the projected enrolment, of the Townsville City Council will be in the Division of Herbert.

The proposal of the augmented Electoral Commission is in terms of the proposal previously published by the Redistribution Committee, subject to the changes referred to above, and a further minor boundary adjustment aimed at producing better defined boundaries complying with the criteria in s.66 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 which follows:

*an alteration of part of the boundary between Fairfax and Fisher to follow the boundary between the locality of Mountain Creek with the localities of Parrearra and Sippy Downs.

As will be stated as part of the reasons for its determination, in the opinion of the augmented Electoral Commission, its proposal is not significantly different from the Redistribution Committee proposal within the meaning of s.72(12)(c) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. Therefore, upon the publication in the Gazette of the determination of the augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland under s.73 of the Act and the issue of the reasons for that determination, the redistribution process will have been concluded without the need to call for further objections or hearings.

The new divisional boundaries will come into effect at the next federal election following the 15 December 2009 gazettal, and any by-election that may occur before the next federal election would be held on the boundaries as determined at the previous redistribution.

The members of the augmented Electoral Commission for Queensland are:

Chairperson of the Australian Electoral Commission
Hon P Heerey QC

Electoral Commissioner
Mr Ed Killesteyn

Non-judicial Commissioner (and Australian Statistician)
Mr Brian Pink

Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland
Ms Anne Bright

Assistant Director-General Land and Vegetation Department of Environment and Resource Management
Mr Chris Robson

Auditor-General for Queensland
Mr Glenn Poole

(Attachment ends.)

Media contacts
Anne Bright
State Manager, AEC Queensland
Phone: 07 3834 3440

Phil Diak
Director, Media and Communication Strategy
Phone: 02 6271 4415
Mobile: 0413 452 539

SOURCE: Australian Electoral Commission



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