Frequently asked questions about redistributions

What is an electoral redistribution?

The Northern Territory consists of 25 electoral divisions - one for each Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). An electoral redistribution is a redrawing of the boundaries of the electoral divisions.

What are the objectives of an electoral redistribution?

The objectives of an electoral redistribution are set out in section 139 of the  the NT Electoral Act,and state that, as far as practical for any proposed division:

  • At the time of the next general election, the number of electors in each division should be near to equal
  • The physical area of each division containing rural and remote areas is kept small
  • The demographic and geographic nature of each division is uniform
  • Identifiable communities are included in only one division
  • Electorate names should not be changed unless they are no longer appropriate and locality names are to be avoided and
  • Changes to existing divisions should minimise the number of electors being transferred from one division to another.

When does a redistribution take place?

A redistribution of electorates must begin as soon as practicable after 2 years and 6 months have passed since the polling day for the last general election and must be completed as soon as practicable (Frequently asked questions about redistributions

What is an electoral redistribution?

The Northern Territory consists of 25 electoral divisions - one for each Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). An electoral redistribution is a redrawing of the boundaries of the electoral divisions.

What are the objectives of an electoral redistribution?

The objectives of an electoral redistribution are set out in section 139 of the  the NT Electoral Act,and state that, as far as practical for any proposed division:

  • At the time of the next general election, the number of electors in each division should be near to equal
  • The physical area of each division containing rural and remote areas is kept small
  • The demographic and geographic nature of each division is uniform
  • Identifiable communities are included in only one division
  • Electorate names should not be changed unless they are no longer appropriate and locality names are to be avoided and
  • Changes to existing divisions should minimise the number of electors being transferred from one division to another.

When does a redistribution take place?

A redistribution of electorates must begin as soon as practicable after 2 years and 6 months have passed since the polling day for the last general election and must be completed as soon as practicable ( section 138).​​​​ section 138).

What are the legal requirements for a redistribution?

In making its redistribution, the Redistribution Committee and Augmented Redistribution Committee are bound by section 140 of the Electoral Act and section 13(4) of the Commonwealth's Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act.

The Committees must consider the following matters in their deliberations:

  • The number of electors in each division to vary only by a 20% tolerance
  • Community of interests including economic, social and regional interests
  • Communication and travel, including remoteness or distance
  • The density of population
  • The area and physical features
  • The trend of population changes in the Territory;
  • Existing boundaries, including Territory and Commonwealth divisions, suburb, town and local government boundaries and regions of Aboriginal land interest, and
  • All public suggestions and comments given under the Electoral Act ss 141, 142 and 145.
The number of electors for each division (the quota) is calculated by dividing the number of electors in the Territory by the number of MLAs to be elected (25 - one for each division). The quota system allows variations in elector numbers of plus or minus 20% in each division; thereby permitting growth and geographical variations in the different divisions.
 

What is the redistribution process?

The redistribution is carried out in accordance with provisions in the Electoral Act in a fair, impartial and transparent manner, free of political interference and with several opportunities for public participation. Any individual or organisation has the opportunity to present suggestions, comments or objections to the Committees - see sections 141, 142 and 145 of the Electoral Act.

Step 1 - Establishment of the Redistribution Committee

A Redistribution Committee is established according to sections 331 - 333 of the Electoral Act. The Committee consists of the Electoral Commissioner, the Surveyor-General and the Auditor-General.

Step 2 - Public suggestions

The Redistribution Committee is required to place notices in the Gazette and Territory newspapers inviting public suggestions on proposed electoral boundaries (Electoral Act s141). To assist the preparation of suggestions, the Committee makes available current maps of electoral boundaries and the latest enrolment figures. Interested persons or organisations are given 30 days after the notification in the Gazette to forward suggestions about the redistribution in writing to the Committee. The Redistribution Committee then makes all suggestions available for public inspection, free of charge, at the Electoral Commission's offices and from the Commission's website. 
 

Step 3 - Comments on the public suggestions

The Redistribution Committee, in compliance with section 142 of the Electoral Act, places notices in the Gazette and Territory newspapers inviting public comments on the suggestions, before the Committee prepares its proposed redistribution of the Territory into divisions. Interested persons or organisations are given 14 days after notification in the Gazette to forward comments on the suggestions in writing to the Committee.  

Step 4 - Preparing the proposed redistribution

As soon as practicable after the closing date for comments on the suggestions, the Committee considers the public suggestions, comments and matters in section 140 and then determines the proposed boundaries for Territory divisions. Maps showing the proposed boundaries and names of the proposed divisions are made available, free of charge, for public inspection at the Electoral Commission's offices and from the Commission's website.  

Step 5 - Objections to the proposed redistribution

The Redistribution Committee places notices in the Gazette and Territory newspapers advising of the availability of the proposed redistribution and of maps showing the proposed divisions and inviting objections. Interested persons or organisations wishing to lodge objections to the proposed divisions are given 30 days after notification in the Gazette to forward objections in writing to the Augmented Redistribution Committee (Electoral Act s145).  

Step 6 - Formation of the Augmented Redistribution Committee

An Augmented Redistribution Committee is established (Electoral Act sections 336 and 337), comprised of  the three members of the Redistribution Committee members plus an appointed member who acts as its chair. The appointed member must either:

  • have served as, or is qualified for appointment as, a Judge of the Supreme Court or a magistrate or
  • have ​other appropriate qualifications and experience and is not a member of a political party - in this case the Minister must consult the leader of each political party represented in the Legislative Assembly and all independent MLAs.

 The Augmented Committee determines the final boundaries to apply after considering the published proposals and objections received from the public and interested parties.

Step 7 - Objections considered by the Augmented Redistribution Committee

In deciding the redistribution, the Augmented Redistribution Committee must give proper consideration to all objections received under section 145.

Step 8 - Final redistribution

After it has considered all the objections lodged, the Augmented Redistribution Committee determines the boundaries of Territory divisions. The details of the redistribution are published in the Gazette. The decision of the Augmented Redistribution Committee is final and conclusive.

Step 9 - Report about the redistribution

The Augmented Redistribution Committee, in compliance with section 148 of the Electoral Act, presents a report to the Minister as soon as practical, that includes the details of all suggestions, comments and objections, and maps showing the names and boundaries of all divisions. The Minister tables the report in the Legislative Assembly within 5 sitting days. As soon as practicable after the report is tabled, it is made available for public inspection, free of charge at the Electoral Commission's offices and from the Commission's website.

When does the redistribution take effect?

The redistribution takes effect from the next general elections. If a by-election is held before then, it is conducted on existing boundaries.

​​​​"> Electoral Act section 138).​​​​ section 138).

 

What are the legal requirements for a redistribution?

In making its redistribution, the Redistribution Committee and Augmented Redistribution Committee are bound by section 140 of the Electoral Act and section 13(4) of the Commonwealth's Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act.

The Committees must consider the following matters in their deliberations:

  • The number of electors in each division to vary only by a 20% tolerance
  • Community of interests including economic, social and regional interests
  • Communication and travel, including remoteness or distance
  • The density of population
  • The area and physical features
  • The trend of population changes in the Territory;
  • Existing boundaries, including Territory and Commonwealth divisions, suburb, town and local government boundaries and regions of Aboriginal land interest, and
  • All public suggestions and comments given under the Electoral Act ss 141, 142 and 145.
The number of electors for each division (the quota) is calculated by dividing the number of electors in the Territory by the number of MLAs to be elected (25 - one for each division). The quota system allows variations in elector numbers of plus or minus 20% in each division; thereby permitting growth and geographical variations in the different divisions.
 

What is the redistribution process?

The redistribution is carried out in accordance with provisions in the Electoral Act in a fair, impartial and transparent manner, free of political interference and with several opportunities for public participation. Any individual or organisation has the opportunity to present suggestions, comments or objections to the Committees - see sections 141, 142 and 145 of the Electoral Act.

Step 1 - Establishment of the Redistribution Committee

A Redistribution Committee is established according to sections 331 - 333 of the Electoral Act. The Committee consists of the Electoral Commissioner, the Surveyor-General and the Auditor-General.

Step 2 - Public suggestions

The Redistribution Committee is required to place notices in the Gazette and Territory newspapers inviting public suggestions on proposed electoral boundaries (Electoral Act s141). To assist the preparation of suggestions, the Committee makes available current maps of electoral boundaries and the latest enrolment figures. Interested persons or organisations are given 30 days after the notification in the Gazette to forward suggestions about the redistribution in writing to the Committee. The Redistribution Committee then makes all suggestions available for public inspection, free of charge, at the Electoral Commission's offices and from the Commission's website. 
 

Step 3 - Comments on the public suggestions

The Redistribution Committee, in compliance with section 142 of the Electoral Act, places notices in the Gazette and Territory newspapers inviting public comments on the suggestions, before the Committee prepares its proposed redistribution of the Territory into divisions. Interested persons or organisations are given 14 days after notification in the Gazette to forward comments on the suggestions in writing to the Committee.  

Step 4 - Preparing the proposed redistribution

As soon as practicable after the closing date for comments on the suggestions, the Committee considers the public suggestions, comments and matters in section 140 and then determines the proposed boundaries for Territory divisions. Maps showing the proposed boundaries and names of the proposed divisions are made available, free of charge, for public inspection at the Electoral Commission's offices and from the Commission's website.  

Step 5 - Objections to the proposed redistribution

The Redistribution Committee places notices in the Gazette and Territory newspapers advising of the availability of the proposed redistribution and of maps showing the proposed divisions and inviting objections. Interested persons or organisations wishing to lodge objections to the proposed divisions are given 30 days after notification in the Gazette to forward objections in writing to the Augmented Redistribution Committee (Electoral Act s145).  

Step 6 - Formation of the Augmented Redistribution Committee

An Augmented Redistribution Committee is established (Electoral Act sections 336 and 337), comprised of  the three members of the Redistribution Committee members plus an appointed member who acts as its chair. The appointed member must either:

  • have served as, or is qualified for appointment as, a Judge of the Supreme Court or a magistrate or
  • have ​other appropriate qualifications and experience and is not a member of a political party - in this case the Minister must consult the leader of each political party represented in the Legislative Assembly and all independent MLAs.

 The Augmented Committee determines the final boundaries to apply after considering the published proposals and objections received from the public and interested parties.

Step 7 - Objections considered by the Augmented Redistribution Committee

In deciding the redistribution, the Augmented Redistribution Committee must give proper consideration to all objections received under section 145.

Step 8 - Final redistribution

After it has considered all the objections lodged, the Augmented Redistribution Committee determines the boundaries of Territory divisions. The details of the redistribution are published in the Gazette. The decision of the Augmented Redistribution Committee is final and conclusive.

Step 9 - Report about the redistribution

The Augmented Redistribution Committee, in compliance with section 148 of the Electoral Act, presents a report to the Minister as soon as practical, that includes the details of all suggestions, comments and objections, and maps showing the names and boundaries of all divisions. The Minister tables the report in the Legislative Assembly within 5 sitting days. As soon as practicable after the report is tabled, it is made available for public inspection, free of charge at the Electoral Commission's offices and from the Commission's website.

When does the redistribution take effect?

The redistribution takes effect from the next general elections. If a by-election is held before then, it is conducted on existing boundaries.

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