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Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives
The Australian House of Representatives is elected from 150 single-member areas called Divisions. They are also commonly known as electorates or seats.
- Each original state must have at least five Members of Parliament. This means that Tasmania has more divisions than it would get based on its population.
- The Northern Territory has been given more representation under recent legislative amendments[source?]
- The Constitution says that the House of Representatives should be about twice as large as the Senate
Within each state and territory, the boundaries of the divisions must be redrawn in a process known as redistribution at least once every seven years, or when the state's allocation of Divisions changes. Boundaries are drawn by Redistribution Committee. Population is based on the number of enrolled voters not the total number of residents.
Within a state or territory, the number of voters in each Division can not vary by more than 10% from the average across the state. The number of voters cannot vary by more than 3.5% from the average projected enrolment three-and-a-half years into the future.
The Divisions of the House of Representatives are unusual in the way they are named. Many of them are not named after geographical features or numbered, as in most other legislatures around the world. Most Divisions are named after important historical people, such as former politicians (often Prime Ministers), explorers, artists and engineers.
In some cases where a Division is named after a place, the connection to that place may have changed a lot. For example, the Division of Werriwa, was named after the Aboriginal word for Lake George near Canberra. However, Werriwa has not included Lake George for many years. The boundary of Werriwa is now 200km north of the lake.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is in charge of creating, abolishing, or redistributing the boundaries of the Divisions. Some of the guidelines the AEC use when naming new Divisions are listed below:
- Name divisions after deceased Australians who have given excellent service to their country, with consideration given to former Prime Ministers
- Keep the names of Divisions used at Federation in 1901
- Avoid place names
- Use Aboriginal names
- Do not use names which are used as state electoral districts
List of Commonwealth Electoral Divisions, 2010-
The maps below show the Division boundaries as they were for the election in 2010.
New South Wales
There are 48 Divisions:
There are 37 Divisions:
There are 30 Divisions:
There are 15 Divisions:
There are 11 Divisions:
There are 5 Divisions:
Australian Capital Territory
There are 2 Divisions:
There are 2 Divisions:
These Australian electoral divisions no longer exist.
- For an electoral history of each Division since Federation in 1901, see Adam Carr's Electoral Archive: Index of House of Representatives Divisions 1901-2001
- Australian Electoral Commission.Research Report 4 - Australian Federal Redistributions 1901-2003. Accessed May 5, 2008.
- Australian Electoral Commission. Guideline for Naming Divisions. August 3, 2007. Accessed May 5, 2008.