Augmented Electoral Commission Proposes Revised Boundaries For Federal Electoral Divisions In Victor

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21st October 2010, 10:57am - Views: 666
Augmented Electoral Commission Proposes Revised Boundaries for Federal Electoral Divisions in Victoria and Invites Objections

After public hearings in Shepparton and Melbourne and the consideration of
written objections and comments, the presiding member of the augmented
Electoral Commission for Victoria, the Hon. Peter Heerey QC, today announced
the outcome of its deliberations on the boundaries and names of the 37 federal
electoral divisions in Victoria.

The key change to the Redistribution Committee's proposal is the reinstatement
of the Division of Murray, meaning that the creation of a new Division of Burke
would not proceed. A number of changes to the boundaries of other electoral
divisions have also been made in response to public objections to the
Redistribution Committee's proposal.

Mr Heerey advised that, in the opinion of the augmented Electoral Commission, its revised proposal is 'significantly different' from that of the Redistribution Committee for Victoria, published on 30 July in its report 2010 Proposed Redistribution of Victoria into Electoral Divisions.

As a result, a further objection period is now open and another public inquiry will be held in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

Mr Heerey said that the need to conduct another round of objections and a
public inquiry means that the formal determination of the distributed boundaries
will be gazetted on 24 December 2010 rather than on 17 December 2010 as
originally scheduled.

Further information about the redistribution, including maps illustrating the
augmented Electoral Commission's proposal and the Redistribution Committee's
report, is available on the Victorian redistribution page on the AEC's website
(http://www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/2010/vic/index.htm).

Objections about the augmented Electoral Commission's proposal must be lodged
in writing with the Redistribution Secretariat for Victoria by 6pm on
Monday 1 November 2010. Objections received will be published on the AEC's
website on Tuesday 2 November 2010.

A public inquiry into the objections will be held in Melbourne on
Monday 8 November 2010. Persons wishing to make an oral submission at the
inquiry should contact the Redistribution Secretariat to schedule their attendance.

Contact details for the Redistribution Committee are as follows:

Email: vicredistribution@aec.gov.au
Phone: (03) 9285 7177
Fax: (03) 9285 7169

Australian Electoral Commission
Level 8, Casselden Place
2 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000

Australian Electoral Commission
GPO Box 9867
Melbourne Victoria 8060

Further information

The presiding member of the augmented Electoral Commission for Victoria, the Hon. Peter Heerey QC, announced that it had considered the proposal of the Redistribution Committee for Victoria, published on 30 July 2010, in light of the 129 written objections and 40 comments which were lodged, and the submissions made at public hearings held in Shepparton and Melbourne on 14 and 15 October respectively.

The augmented Electoral Commission has proposed, as outlined in this
announcement, to reinstate the Division of Murray. In addition, on the basis of
submissions made, the augmented Electoral Commission has been able to
identify solutions to a substantial number of other objections to the boundaries
proposed by the Redistribution Committee. In achieving these outcomes, the
augmented Electoral Commission has concluded, in accordance with section
72(12) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) that its
proposal is 'significantly different' from that of the Redistribution Committee.

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

A central consideration for the Redistribution Committee was the fact that only nine of the 37 federal electors divisions in Victoria fell within the acceptable projected numerical range set by the Electoral Act, ie: a maximum of 104,764 and a minimum of 97,680 electors in each division. The Redistribution Committee had noted that several divisions surrounding the Melbourne metropolitan fringe contained well over the number of permissible electors, while a number of rural divisions and divisions in the east of Melbourne contained insufficient numbers of electors.

The Redistribution Committee had approached the redistribution by first focusing on the metropolitan fringe divisions which needed to lose electors. McEwen, a division with too many electors and bridging the low enrolment growth metropolitan divisions to the south and rural divisions to the north, was selected as the Committee's starting point. The Committee proposed that parts of McEwen and adjoining divisions be combined to form a new division named Burke. This led to a series of consequential transfers throughout regional Victoria, where supplementation was needed. As a consequence, the Division of Murray was proposed for abolition.

As a consequence, a series of changes were then necessary in a number of other electoral divisions to meet the statutory criterion relating to the permissible number of projected enrolments in each division. This particularly affected the north-west metropolitan region where the Redistribution Committee had proposed to situate a new Division of Burke, and divisions west of Melbourne such as Maribyrnong, Gellibrand, Lalor and Corio. The divisions of Indi, McEwen, Mallee and Wannon are also impacted by the reinstatement of the Division of Murray.

The augmented Electoral Commission, after consideration of all matters brought before it, further acceded to a number of objections to better reflect community of interest and travel and communication issues. These include:

* Returning the localities of Caulfield, Caulfield North and Caulfield East to
the Division of Melbourne Ports.

* Returning the locality of Docklands north of the Yarra River to the Division
of Melbourne.

* Returning all of Stonnington Local Government Area (LGA) to the Division
of Higgins.

* Returning all of Darebin LGA to the Division of Batman.

* Returning Heidelberg West, Bellfield and Ivanhoe to the Division of
Jagajaga.

* Uniting the locality of Blackburn in the Division of Deakin.

* Uniting the localities of Hurstbridge, Wattle Glen and Diamond Creek in
the Division of Scullin.

* Returning the LGAs of Horsham and West Wimmera to the Division of
Mallee.

* Returning areas of the Greater Geelong LGA south of the Bellarine
Highway and the Queenscliffe Borough to the Division of Corangamite.

* Returning the locality of Endeavour Hills to the Division of Holt.

* Uniting the locality of Pakenham in the Division of McMillan.

The augmented Electoral Commission concluded that a number of other
objections failed to meet the criterion relating to projected enrolment numbers.
In 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 Electoral Act were more appropriately met by the
Redistribution Committee's proposal.

Maps which illustrate the proposal made by the augmented Electoral
Commission are available for perusal on the AEC website or can be obtained
from the Redistribution Secretariat.

As will be stated as part of the reasons for its determination, in the opinion of the augmented Electoral Commission, its proposal is significantly different from the Redistribution Committee proposal within the meaning of s.72(12)(c) of the Electoral Act.

Therefore, as required by s.72(13) of the Electoral Act, any person or
organisation may, forthwith, lodge a written further objection to the augmented
Electoral Commission's proposal. Objections must be lodged with the
Redistribution Secretariat (contact details above) by 6pm on Monday
1 November 2010. The augmented Electoral Commission will hold an inquiry
into the further objections in Melbourne on Monday 8 November 2010.

The augmented Electoral Commission will then complete its considerations
regarding the further objections, and issue a statement outlining its final decision.

The final divisional boundaries will come into effect at the next federal election following the 24 December 2010 determination date, and any by-election that may occur before the next federal election would be held on the boundaries as determined at the previous (2003) redistribution.

The augmented Electoral Commission membership:

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 Victoria
Mrs Jenni McMullan

Surveyor-General of Victoria
Mr John E Tulloch

Auditor-General of Victoria
Mr Des Pearson


Media contacts:

Phil Diak, Director Media
(02) 6271 4415
0413 452 539

Jenni McMullan, State Manager Victoria
03 9285 7100
0438 255 979


SOURCE: Australian Electoral Commission




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