ACT Assembly to increase in size

Parliament house flag post

ACT Assembly to increase in size

Posted 7/08/2014 by Brenton Holmes

With bipartisan support, the ACT Assembly has passed two bills to increase representation of ACT citizens and enhance democracy in the Territory. The number of electorates will increase from three to five, with five members per electorate - a 5X5 model.

Greens’ MLA Shane Rattenbury said that the model ‘locks in the two old parties and makes it harder for smaller parties and independents to gain representation. I support a bigger Assembly - but one that encourages diversity and broader community representation, not one where democracy loses out’.

On 5 August the ACT’s Select Committee on the Review of the Electoral Act tabled its report. The major parties want to:

  • charge taxpayers $8 per vote to fund political parties’ election campaigns
  • let parties spend up to $1 million dollars on their election campaigns, and
  • debate the $10,000 donation cap – leaving it open to being weakened or removed completely.

Rattenbury is also concerned by potential changes to rules about donations:

At the moment, legislation in the ACT mandates that only individuals on the electoral roll can donate, and election campaign donations are restricted to a maximum of $10,000. Following a NSW High Court decision, the Select Committee advised that part of our legislation may be found to be invalid and should be repealed. In light of this, it appears likely that corporations will be able to become political donors once again. That gives us more reason than ever to limit the influence of vested interest groups over our democracy.

There will be a redistribution of electoral boundaries, including the naming of the new electorates. This process is scheduled to commence after 15 October 2014, when the ACT Electoral Commission will be responsible for appointing a Redistribution Committee. There will be a call for public submissions by the Redistribution Committee and there will be several opportunities for public comment throughout a six to eight-month process. The final determination of the new electoral boundaries will be made by the Augmented ACT Electoral Commission in time for the 2016 Territory election.

Election dates for the Assembly are fixed in legislation, with elections held in October every four years.

In 2013 an Expert Reference Group comprising ACT Electoral Commissioner Phillip Green (chair), Ms Anne Cahill Lambert AM, Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards AM, Mr John Hindmarsh AM and Ms Louise Taylor conducted a review into the size of the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Group published a Discussion Paper and sought the views of the citizens of the ACT on the appropriate size of the Legislative Assembly of the ACT.

Key questions were:

  • Is there a sufficient case to increase the size of the ACT Legislative Assembly?
  • If so, what size should the Assembly be?

Fifty one submissions were received. The final report was presented to the ACT Chief Minister in March 2013 and publicly released on 16 April 2013.

Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print


Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice




refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Indigenous Australians Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment Sport illicit drugs people trafficking taxation Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force higher education welfare policy United Nations health financing Asia income management Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States federal budget gambling school education forced labour aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA emissions trading dental health Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Industrial Relations people smuggling National Disability Insurance Scheme Australian Crime Commission slavery Senate election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service constitution International Women's Day corruption Afghanistan Fair Work Act child protection debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure poker machines ALP New Zealand Newstart Parenting Payment 43rd Parliament political parties Census High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Higher Education Loan Program HECS youth paid parental leave Aviation environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers Special Rapporteur leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform politics banking firearms public policy violence against women domestic violence mental health China ADRV terrorism social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation governance public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing by-election European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas family assistance planning United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs health reform Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing health system money laundering asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Population Financial sector national security fuel disability employment Tasmania integrity science research and development Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia accountability housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation expertise Senators and Members climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship human rights High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly public health smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency productivity human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking federal election 2010 workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions Norway hospitals republic President Barack Obama Presidential visits

Show all
Show less
Back to top