The process of federal redistributions: a quick guide

25 August 2022

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Dr Damon Muller
Politics and Public Administration

What is a redistribution?

The process of drawing and adjusting electoral boundaries in Australia is called a ‘redistribution’, and at the federal level is governed by Part IV of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA). Redistributions also occur within the states and territories using separate processes, but these are outside the scope of this paper.

The process of a federal redistribution is complex and involves multiple steps. Importantly, the process is undertaken independently of the Government and the Parliament. However, redistribution decisions are often erroneously attributed to the Government or the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). While the AEC administers the redistribution process, a population-based formula determines the number of seats each state and territory is entitled to and a Redistribution Committee decides on the name and shape of the boundaries. The Committee consists of the relevant state or territory’s Australian Electoral Officer (a statutory appointment), Surveyor-General and Auditor-General (also typically statutory officers).

Any objections to the Redistribution Committee’s proposals are considered by the augmented Electoral Commission, which is made up of the Redistribution Committee and the two members of the Electoral Commission other than the Electoral Commissioner.[1] The augmented Electoral Commission makes the final determination of the redistribution in either accepting or modifying the Redistribution Committee’s proposals.

As elections expert Dr Jenni Newton-Farrelly has noted, ‘Australia’s current redistribution process is widely recognised as independent and fair’:

The [electoral] commissions’ structures keep them independent of the parties and their authority to order maps into effect keeps them independent of the parliament. Their process is transparent and accountable, and redistributions are triggered frequently and automatically…. The criteria generate relatively meaningful districts and the outcomes are regularly accepted by the parties and the public.

Redistribution triggers

There are three triggers for initiating a federal-level redistribution, set out in Section 59 of the CEA:

  • where the representation entitlement of a state changes (see next section)
  • where the divisions of a state are malapportioned, or
  • where a redistribution has not been held for seven years because neither of the other two triggers have been met.

The operations of the triggers are based on either time or published population numbers, and so are largely objective and transparent.

The representation entitlement trigger

Each state and territory is divided into electoral divisions (or seats) for the House of Representatives. The total number of divisions across the country is determined by population and the Australian Constitution, and is required to be as close as practical to twice the number of senators (that is, twice 76). Currently there are 151 divisions, although this may change depending on population distribution.

The representation entitlement for all states and territories is determined by applying the total populations of the states and territories to a particular formula specified in the CEA (section 48). This determines each state and territory’s electoral divisions entitlement.

Under section 46 of the CEA, the Electoral Commissioner ascertains the populations of the states and territories from the Australian Statistician the day after the first anniversary of the opening of a new Parliament, provided that the ‘House of Representatives has continued for a period of 12 months’. As the current Parliament first met on 26 July 2022, on 27 July 2023 the Electoral Commissioner will take the latest population numbers published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and apply the entitlement determination formula.

The Northern Territory’s two seats

The Northern Territory (NT)—Australia’s least populous state or territory—gained its second seat in 2001, but due to relative population decline was due to lose that second seat in both 2003 and 2020. On both occasions the Parliament passed legislation to allow the NT to retain its second seat.

In 2004 the CEA was amended to set aside the 2003 determination and to require the entitlement determination take into account the difficulty of accurately determining the population of the NT due to its large remote Indigenous population. The amendment required the entitlement calculation add twice the standard error of the population estimate to the population count for the purposes of determining territory representation.

By 2020 the two standard error additions was no longer sufficient to give the NT a second seat. In response the Parliament set aside to the 2020 determination and again amended the CEA, removing the two standard errors provision and changing the threshold to use the harmonic mean. In effect, this means that a territory will be entitled to two seats if it gets at least 1.33 quotas. While the provisions also apply to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the ACT is sufficiently over quota to not be affected presently.

The malapportionment trigger

The AEC publishes monthly enrolment statistics for all divisions, including the average enrolment for each state and territory. If more than a third of a state or territory’s divisions are more than 10% over/under the average enrolment for two consecutive months, the malapportionment trigger is enacted. The malapportionment trigger has existed since 1984 but has never been used.

Redistributions: the process

The requirements for a redistribution are set out in section 66 of the CEA, which states that the provision for preserving existing boundaries is subordinate to other matters. Accordingly, the Redistribution Committee can disregard the current electoral boundaries if doing so better accommodates population change and reflects community of interests, travel and communication or physical features.

Notably, the CEA does not include political outcomes or electoral fairness considerations in federal redistributions.[2] The CEA (section 67) provides that a Redistribution Committee must provide written reasoning for its redistribution proposal and of any issues of disagreement. Typically, however, the decision is unanimous.

When a redistribution adds or removes a division, the effects are usually significant and far-reaching. For example, when one division (of approximately 110,000 electors) in NSW was removed in the 2016 redistribution, it resulted in 919,914 electors (18.91 per cent of all NSW electors) moving divisions.

Where an entitlement determination abolishes an existing division, the Committee must still abide by section 66 of the CEA, in considering the current and projected populations first, and other factors such as community of interests after that. The decision about which division to abolish is usually influenced by other boundary changes necessitated in accommodating changing populations (see Appendix A).

Requirements for determining boundaries

The primary requirement for a division boundary redistribution is to ensure that:

  • no division differs from the average enrolment per division for the state or territory by more than ten percent[3]  and
  • the new boundaries have projected enrolments that differ by no more than 3.5 per cent from the state or territory average.

The enrolment projections are prepared by the ABS and are based largely on the calculated projections of Australian residents aged 18 or over.[4] Typically, the projected enrolments are forecasts three and a half years after the finalised redistribution. However, in the case of the 2017 Victorian redistribution the AEC determined that the projection time for enrolments was to be only two years. Subsection 63A(3) of the CEA allows the AEC to use a shorter enrolment projection time if it believes that a redistribution will be required before seven years. This turned out to be the case, as Victoria’s entitlement grew following the 2019 election and was subject to a redistribution in 2020 (using the standard 3 and a half year projection).

While the whole Australian resident population is used for the determination of entitlement (the number of electoral divisions in each state and territory), only the enrolled population (and projected enrolled population) is used for determining the number of electors within each division. Average enrolments are determined at the beginning of the redistribution process based on current enrolments, and the enrolment projections are published by the AEC as part of the redistribution process.

Public consultation

A redistribution follows a set process that includes the following opportunities for public input:

  • Once a redistribution commences there is a public call for written suggestions (in accordance with AEC guidelines). These suggestions are then made available for public comment.
  • Following the Redistribution Committee’s production of boundary proposals, members of the public can submit written objections and comments on such objections.

Many suggestions come from sitting members or political parties, but they have no special role in the process above any other interested person. In cases where the proposed changes are particularly contentious, the augmented Electoral Commission may hold public hearings before making its determination. Most recent redistributions have featured an inquiry into objections (see Appendix B).

Interested parties’ interpretation of the secondary criteria listed in section 66 (community of interests, means of communication and travel, and physical features) is often largely subjective. The community of interest criterion is particularly open to interpretation and has been discussed in terms of rural versus urban, dominant industries, socioeconomic class and ethnic backgrounds, however because redistributions are for entire states or territories, Redistribution Committees tend to take a state-wide view of these issues.

Political considerations?

As noted above, there is no provision in the CEA to consider political outcomes or electoral fairness in federal redistributions. Dr Newton-Farrelly has noted that shortly after the AEC was created in 1984 a federal redistribution for WA was subject to an appeal due to perceived ‘political effects’. The Electoral Commissioner at the time sought legal advice as to whether the augmented Electoral Commission had the power to decline to hear arguments on the ‘political effects’ of a redistribution in an objection to a redistribution.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department advised that the augmented Electoral Commission had discretion to either include or exclude objections due to political effects, with the Commission deciding on the latter. This precedent of excluding political effects considerations has continued for all federal redistributions since, and has also been adopted by most state and territory redistribution processes (as noted previously, South Australia was an exception to this).


Redistributions in the last decade have taken between 10 and 15 months to complete (see Appendix D). The Electoral Commissioner must direct that a redistribution commences ‘forthwith after making the determination’ (CEA, paragraph 59(2)(a)).

Naming divisions

When naming new divisions or renaming old divisions, the Redistribution Committee and augmented Electoral Commission generally follow a set of non-mandatory guidelines originating from a 1987 Electoral Reform committee inquiry report.

In brief, the guidelines state that:

  • Divisions should be named after deceased Australians who have rendered outstanding service to their country, and deceased former Prime Ministers should be considered when naming new divisions.
  • Divisions names that date from the time of Federation should be retained (a list of Federation divisions is in Appendix E).
  • Place names should be avoided.
  • Aboriginal names should be used where appropriate, and existing Aboriginal division names should be retained.
  • Names should not duplicate existing state electoral district names.
  • Names of divisions should not be changed or moved to new areas without very good reasons.
  • When multiple divisions are combined the new division should be the name of the old division with the greatest number of electors in the new boundaries.

As an example of the practical application of the guidelines, in the 2016 NSW redistribution the division of Hunter was abolished. Around half of the electors from the division of Hunter went into the neighbouring division of Charlton. However, as Hunter was a Federation electorate, it was decided to rename Charlton to Hunter to preserve the Federation name.

At the 2016 redistribution for the ACT, the division of Fraser (named after John Fraser, a member of the House of Representatives for the ACT from 1951 to 1970) was renamed to Fenner (after scientist Frank Fenner) to free-up the name of Fraser for a future division in Victoria to be named after former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. The Victorian division of Fraser was created as a new division at the subsequent (2017) Victorian redistribution.

What happens if an election is called when a redistribution in is progress?

If a federal election is called during an incomplete redistribution process where the state or territory has not changed its entitlement, the election will be conducted under the existing boundaries. However, if the incomplete redistribution requires a change in entitlement, the state or territory must undergo a ‘mini-redistribution’.[5] This is triggered when the writs for an election are issued.

Where a state or territory is to lose a seat, the two adjacent divisions with the combined lowest number of electors are combined into a single electorate.[6] When a seat is to be gained, the two adjacent divisions with the combined largest number of electors are split as equally as possible into three divisions. These changes must happen in the 10–27 days between the issue of the writs and the declaration of nominations.

The mini-redistribution provisions have never been used, and would likely leave very little time to decide pre-selection for the newly created seats.

Further reading

Appendix A: the fate of abolished divisions

The abolition of electoral divisions is particularly disruptive for politics, requiring sitting members to find new seats or to retire. The following briefly describe the fate of each of the seats abolished, and the members who were elected into those seats, since the House of Representatives increased to its current size in 1984.


In the 2021 WA redistribution the division of Stirling (fairly safe LIB) was abolished. The sitting member, Vince Connelly (LIB), contested the neighbouring division of Cowan (marginal ALP) in the 2022 federal election but was defeated by the incumbent Anne Aly (ALP), having served only one term in the Parliament.


In the 2018 SA redistribution the division of Port Adelaide (safe ALP) was abolished. Its member Mark Butler (ALP) contested and won the neighbouring seat of Hindmarsh at the 2019 federal election. The previous member for Hindmarsh, Steve Georganas (ALP) successfully ran in the seat of Adelaide in 2019 following Kate Ellis’ (ALP) retirement from parliament.


The most recent NSW redistribution saw the division of Hunter abolished. However, the neighbouring division of Charlton was renamed to Hunter, as an original division at Federation. The member for the abolished division of Hunter (Joel Fitzgibbon, ALP) ran for and won the new division of Hunter (notionally marginal ALP), while the sitting Member for Charlton (Pat Conroy, ALP) ran for and won the division of Shortland (notional fairly safe ALP) at the 2016 federal election. The previous Member for Shortland (Jill Hall, ALP) retired before the 2016 federal election.


In the 2009 redistribution of NSW the division of Reid (safe ALP) was abolished. The Redistribution Committee proposed renaming the existing division of Lowe to McMahon which the augmented Electoral Commission then renamed to Reid. The new division of Reid (notionally safe ALP) had about one third of its population from the previous division of Reid, and two thirds from the existing division of Lowe (marginal ALP). The Member for Lowe (John Murphy, ALP) ran and won the new seat of Reid, and the Member for Reid (Laurie Ferguson, ALP) ran for and won the division of Werriwa (notionally safe ALP). The previous Member for Werriwa (Chris Hayes, ALP) ran for and won the division of Fowler (notionally safe ALP).


The division of Gwydir (safe NAT) was abolished, with most of the population transferred to the division of Parkes (safe NAT), and a smaller proportion to Hunter (notionally safe ALP in 2007) and other electorates. In 2007 Mark Coulton was elected as the Member for Parkes, with the sitting Member for Gwydir (John Anderson, NAT) having retired prior to the election, and the sitting Member for Parkes (John Cobb, NAT) moving to the seat of Calare (notionally safe NAT).


In the 2003 redistribution of SA the division of Bonython (safe ALP) was abolished, with most of the population going into the division of Wakefield (safe Liberal). The member for the abolished Bonython division (Martyn Evans, ALP) contested Wakefield (notionally marginal ALP) in the 2004 election and narrowly lost to David Fawcett (LIB). The previous Member for Wakefield (Neil Andrew, LIB) retired prior to the 2004 election.


The seat of Corinella was abolished. The former Member for Corinella (Alan Griffin, ALP) went on to contest the seat of Bruce (notional marginal ALP) in the 1996 election and won against the incumbent Member (Julian Beale, LIB) in what had previously been a fairly safe Liberal seat.


This redistribution abolished the divisions of Phillip and Dundas and created the division of Paterson (notionally marginal LIB). The Member for Phillip (Jeannette McHugh, ALP) contested and won the division of Grayndler (notional safe ALP), and the Member for Dundas (Philip Ruddock, LIB) contested and won the existing division of Berowra (safe LIB). The previous Member for Grayndler (Leo McLeay, ALP) contested and won the division of Watson (fairly safe ALP). The previous Member for Berowra (Harry Edwards, LIB) retired before the election. The winner of the division of Paterson (Bob Horne, ALP) was new to Parliament.


The division of Hawker was abolished, and its population mainly went to the divisions of Boothby and Hindmarsh. The Member for Hawker (Christine Gallus, LIB) went on to contest and win Hindmarsh, which was notionally marginal Liberal, at the 1993 election. The previous Member for Hindmarsh (John Scott, ALP), which was previously a marginal ALP electorate, retired before the election.


The divisions of Henty and Streeton were abolished, and the new division of Corinella was created (which did not include any of the electors of Henty or Streeton). The Member for Henty (Joan Child, ALP), a fairly safe ALP electorate, retired in 1990. The Member for Streeton (Tony Lamb, ALP) went on to contest the division of Deakin (which was notionally marginal ALP) and lost at the 1990 federal election.

Appendix B: recent redistributions

This appendix provides a summary of recent distributions and links to key milestones in each redistribution process.

Victoria (15 July 2020 – 26 July 2021)

The redistribution resulted from an increase in Victoria’s entitlement from 38 to 39 electoral divisions following the 2019 federal election. A new division named Hawke, in honour of prime minister Bob Hawke was created. The Redistribution Committee proposed renaming the division of Corangamite to Tucker, however the augmented Electoral Commission rejected that recommendation and decided to keep the name Corangamite. The boundaries of 19 divisions were changed.

WA (15 July 2020 – 2 August 2021)

The redistribution resulted from a reduction in Western Australia’s entitlement from 16 to 15 federal electoral divisions following the 2019 federal election. The division of Stirling was abolished, and the name retired. The boundaries of 11 divisions were altered.

Queensland (6 January 2017 – 27 March 2018)

The redistribution was triggered as it had been more than seven years since the last redistribution of the state. The names of all the divisions were retained, and the boundaries of 18 of Queensland’s 30 divisions were changed.

Victoria (4 September 2017 – 13 July 2018)

The redistribution was required as the entitlement determination following the 2016 federal election increased Victoria’s entitlement to seats from 37 to 38. A new division of Fraser was created, in honour of prime minister Malcolm Fraser. The division of McMillan was renamed to Monash, the division of Melbourne Ports was renamed to Macnamara and the division of Murray was renamed to Nicholls. The augmented Electoral Commission rejected the proposal of the Redistribution Committee to rename the division of Corangamite to Cox. The boundaries of 27 divisions were altered.

ACT (4 September 2017 – 13 July 2018)

The redistribution was required because the entitlement to seats of the ACT had increased from 2 to 3 following the 2016 federal election. A new division was created, and the augmented Electoral Commission voted four to two in favour of the recommendation of the Redistribution Committee that the new division be named Bean. The boundaries of both existing ACT divisions were changed to accommodate the new division.

SA (4 September 2017 – 20 July 2018)

The redistribution was required because the entitlement determination following the 2016 federal election had reduced the number of seats that SA was entitled to from 11 to 10. The division of Port Adelaide was abolished, and the division of Wakefield was renamed to Spence. The boundaries of all remaining divisions were altered.

Tasmania (1 September 2016 – 14 November 2017)

The redistribution was required because it had been more than 7 years since the last redistribution of the state. The division of Denison was renamed to Clark and the boundaries of two divisions were altered.

NT (15 October 2015 – 7 February 2017)

The redistribution was required as it had been more than 7 years since the previous redistribution of the territory. The boundaries of the 2 divisions were altered.

NSW (1 December 2014 – 25 February 2016)

The redistribution was required because the entitlement of the state had been reduced from 48 to 47 divisions following the 2013 federal election. The division of Hunter was abolished, and the division of Charlton was renamed to Hunter to retain a Federation division name. The division of Throsby was renamed to Whitlam in honour of the former prime minister Gough Whitlam. The boundaries of all but one of the divisions were altered.

WA (1 December 2014 – 19 January 2016)

The redistribution was required because the entitlement of Western Australia to seats had increased from 15 to 16 following the 2014 federal election. A new division of Burt was created, and the boundaries of all the divisions in the state were altered.

ACT (1 December 2014 – 28 January 2016)

The redistribution was required because it was more than 7 years since the previous redistribution of the territory. The division of Fraser was renamed to Fenner, and the boundaries of the two divisions were altered.

Appendix C: number of House of Representatives seats by state for each federal election

NSW Vic Qld SA WA Tas NT ACT Total Total with full
voting rights(a)
1901 26 23 9 7 5 5 75 75
1903 26 23 9 7 5 5 75 75
1906 27 22 9 7 5 5 75 75
1910 27 22 9 7 5 5 75 75
1913 27 21 10 7 5 5 75 75
1914 27 21 10 7 5 5 75 75
1917 27 21 10 7 5 5 75 75
1919 27 21 10 7 5 5 75 75
1922 28 20 10 7 5 5 1 76 75
1925 28 20 10 7 5 5 1 76 75
1928 28 20 10 7 5 5 1 76 75
1929 28 20 10 7 5 5 1 76 75
1931 28 20 10 7 5 5 1 76 75
1934 28 20 10 6 5 5 1 75 74
1937 28 20 10 6 5 5 1 75 74
1940 28 20 10 6 5 5 1 75 74
1943 28 20 10 6 5 5 1 75 74
1946 28 20 10 6 5 5 1 75 74
1949 47 33 18 10 8 5 1 1 123 121
1951 47 33 18 10 8 5 1 1 123 121
1954 47 33 18 10 8 5 1 1 123 121
1955 46 33 18 11 9 5 1 1 124 122
1958 46 33 18 11 9 5 1 1 124 122
1961 46 33 18 11 9 5 1 1 124 122
1963 46 33 18 11 9 5 1 1 124 122
1966 46 33 18 11 9 5 1 1 124 123
1969 45 34 18 12 9 5 1 1 125 125
1972 45 34 18 12 9 5 1 1 125 125
1974 45 34 18 12 10 5 1 2 127 127
1975 45 34 18 12 10 5 1 2 127 127
1977 43 33 19 11 10 5 1 2 124 124
1980 43 33 19 11 11 5 1 2 125 125
1983 43 33 19 11 11 5 1 2 125 125
1984 51 39 24 13 13 5 1 2 148 148
1987 51 39 24 13 13 5 1 2 148 148
1990 51 38 24 13 14 5 1 2 148 148
1993 50 38 25 12 14 5 1 2 147 147
1996 50 37 26 12 14 5 1 3 148 148
1998 50 37 27 12 14 5 1 2 148 148
2001 50 37 27 12 15 5 2 2 150 150
2004 50 37 28 11 15 5 2(b) 2 150 150
2007 49 37 29 11 15 5 2 2 150 150
2010 48 37 30 11 15 5 2 2 150 150
2013 48 37 30 11 15 5 2 2 150 150
2016 47 37 30 11 16 5 2 2 150 150
2019 47 38 30 10 16 5 2 3 151 151
2022 47 39 30 10 15 5 2(c) 3 151 151

(a) The member for the NT had limited voting rights between 1922 and 1968. The member for the ACT had limited voting rights between 1949 and 1966.

(b) The NT was reduced to 1 seat after the entitlement determination of 19 February 2003 but reverted to two divisions after the passage of the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Representation in the House of Representatives) Act 2004 and did not undergo a redistribution.

(c) The NT was reduced to 1 seat after the entitlement determination of 3 July 2020 but reverted to two divisions after the passage of the Electoral Amendment (Territory Representation) Act 2020 and did not undergo a redistribution.

Key: numbers in green indicate a seat gained since the last election, and numbers in red indicate a seat lost. Shaded cells indicate that the seat has undergone a redistribution prior to the election.

Source: Compiled by the Parliamentary Library from various sources.

Appendix D: start dates and selected milestones of recent redistributions

State Date redistribution commenced Days until submissions closed Days from submissions closed to proposal released  Date Finalised Days from proposals released until redistribution finalised Total time
Days Months
Vic 15/07/2020 93 154 26/07/2021 129 376 12
WA 15/07/2020 100 147 2/08/2021 136 383 12
SA 4/09/2017 88 133 20/07/2018 98 319 10
ACT 4/09/2017 81 133 13/07/2018 98 312 10
Vic 4/09/2017 74 140 13/07/2018 98 312 10
Qld 6/01/2017 133 133 27/03/2018 179 445 14
Tas 1/09/2016 92 154 14/11/2017 193 439 14
NT 15/10/2015 141 189 7/02/2017 151 481 15
NSW 1/12/2014 172 147 25/02/2016 132 451 14
WA 1/12/2014 130 133 19/01/2016 151 414 13
ACT 1/12/2014 179 105 28/01/2016 139 423 13
SA 12/01/2011 114 98 16/12/2011 126 338 11
Vic 1/02/2010 67 112 24/12/2010 147 326 10
Qld 19/02/2009 78 77 15/12/2009 144 299 9
NSW 19/02/2009 71 98 22/12/2009 137 306 10
Tas 13/02/2008 86 105 16/02/2009 178 369 12
NT 16/01/2008 72 84 19/08/2008 60 216 7
WA 14/12/2007 105 126 10/12/2008 131 362 11
NSW 2/12/2005 112 98 22/11/2006 145 355 11
Qld 2/12/2005 91 112 22/11/2006 152 355 11
ACT 30/11/2004 108 98 9/12/2005 168 374 12
Qld 12/03/2003 100 63 25/11/2003 95 258 8
SA 12/03/2003 114 32 17/12/2003 134 280 9
Vic 18/01/2002 91 133 29/01/2003 152 376 12
WA 23/12/1999 92 63 20/11/2000 178 333 10
NT 23/12/1999 71 56 21/12/2000 237 364 11
Tas 14/04/1999 44 84 22/11/1999 94 222 7
NSW 26/02/1999 49 91 11/02/2000 210 350 11
SA 10/02/1999 37 63 13/08/1999 84 184 6

Source: AEC and Parliamentary Library calculations.

Appendix E: the Federation divisions and their fate

State Divisions Time in use History
NSW Barrier 1901–22 Abolished due to redistribution, 1922
  Bland 1901–06 Abolished due to redistribution, 1906
  Canobolas 1901–06 Abolished due to redistribution, 1906
  Cowper   Still in existence
  Dalley 1901–69 Abolished due to redistribution, 1968
  Darling 1901–77 Abolished due to redistribution, 1977
  East Sydney 1901–69 Abolished due to redistribution, 1968
  Eden-Monaro   Still in existence
  Gwydir 1901–2007 Abolished due to redistribution, 2006
  Hume   Still in existence
  Hunter   Still in existence
  Illawarra 1901–22 Abolished die to redistribution, 1922
  Lang 1901–77 Abolished due to redistribution, 1977
  Macquarie   Still in existence
  Newcastle   Still in existence
  New England   Still in existence
  North Sydney   Still in existence
  Parkes   Still in existence
  Parramatta   Still in existence
  Richmond   Still in existence
  Riverina   Still in existence
  Robertson   Still in existence
  South Sydney 1901–34 Abolished due to redistribution, 1934
  Wentworth   Still in existence
  Werriwa   Still in existence
  West Sydney 1901–69 Abolished due to redistribution, 1968
Vic Balaclava 1901–84 Abolished due to redistribution, 1984
  Ballaarat   Still in existence; renamed Ballarat 1977
  Bendigo   Still in existence
  Bourke 1901–49 Abolished due to redistribution, 1948
  Corangamite   Still in existence
  Corinella 1901–06 Abolished due to redistribution, 1906
    1990–96 Abolished due to redistribution, 1994
  Corio   Still in existence
  Echuca 1901–37 Abolished due to redistribution, 1936
  Flinders   Still in existence
  Gippsland   Still in existence
  Grampians 1901–22 Abolished due to redistribution, 1922
  Indi   Still in existence
  Kooyong   Still in existence
  Laanecoorie 1901–13 Abolished due to redistribution, 1912
  Melbourne   Still in existence
  Melbourne Ports 1901–2018 Renamed to Macnamara in 2018
  Mernda 1901–13 Abolished due to redistribution, 1912
  Moira 1901–06 Abolished due to redistribution, 1906
  Northern Melbourne 1901–06 Abolished due to redistribution, 1906
  Southern Melbourne 1901–06 Abolished due to redistribution, 1906
  Wannon   Still in existence
  Wimmera 1901–77 Abolished due to redistribution, 1977
  Yarra 1901–69 Abolished due to redistribution, 1968
Qld Brisbane   Still in existence
  Capricornia   Still in existence
  Darling Downs 1901–84 Abolished due to redistribution, 1984
  Herbert   Still in existence
  Kennedy   Still in existence
  Maranoa   Still in existence
  Moreton   Still in existence
  Oxley   Still in existence
  Wide Bay   Still in existence
WA Coolgardie 1901–13 Abolished due to redistribution, 1912
  Fremantle   Still in existence
  Kalgoorlie 1901–2008 Renamed to O’Connor in 2008
  Perth   Still in existence
  Swan   Still in existence

Note: Corinella was abolished twice, once in 1906 and for the second time in 1994. Only 63 of the first Parliament’s 75 divisions were Federation divisions because in 1901 Tasmanian and South Australian MPs were elected ‘at large’. These two colonial parliaments failed to distribute divisions in time for the 1901 election and so each of these MPs was known as the ‘Member for Tasmania’ and the ‘Member for South Australia’. The first named divisions for Tasmania and South Australia were established for the 1903 election.

[1].   Confusingly, the ‘Australian Electoral Commission’, under the CEA (section 6) consists of three members, including the Chair, who is usually a retired judge, the Electoral Commissioner, and a third member, usually the Australian Statistician (the head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics). To distinguish between the statutory agency, also referred to as the Australian Electoral Commission, this is often referred to informally as the ‘three-person Commission’.

[2].   South Australia did have a ‘fairness provision’ in its state election redistribution laws, however that was repealed in 2017.

[3].   calculated by taking the number of enrolments in the state or territory and dividing by the number of divisions.

[4].   The resident population 18 and over is only an estimate of the population that is eligible to vote, as resident non-citizens who cannot vote are included in the count.

[5].   CEA, section 76.

[6].   For the purpose of conducting a mini-redistribution, the number of electors in divisions is the most recent monthly gazetted enrolment figures.


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