Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives

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The Australian House of Representatives is elected from 150 single-member areas called Divisions. They are also commonly known as electorates or seats.

Allocation[change | change source]

The Divisions are divided among the states and territories of Australia as set out in the Australian Constitution and the Electoral Act[1] It is based on population, with the following exceptions:

  • 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.

Naming[change | change source]

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:[2]

  • 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-[change | change source]

The maps below show the Division boundaries as they were for the election in 2010.

New South Wales[change | change source]

There are 48 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Sydney area
Electoral divisions: Outside Sydney area
Electoral divisions: Rest of New South Wales

Victoria[change | change source]

Electoral divisions: Melbourne area
Electoral divisions: Outside Melbourne area
Electoral divisions: Rest of Victoria

There are 37 Divisions:

Queensland[change | change source]

There are 30 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Brisbane area
Electoral divisions: Outside Brisbane area
Electoral divisions: Rest of Queensland

Western Australia[change | change source]

There are 15 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Perth area
Electoral divisions: Outside Perth area
Electoral divisions: Rest of Western Australia

South Australia[change | change source]

There are 11 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Adelaide area
Electoral divisions: Rest of South Australia

Tasmania[change | change source]

There are 5 Divisions:

Electoral divisions: Tasmania

The Territories[change | change source]

Electoral divisions: Australian Capital Territory
Division of Lingiari in Northern Territory
Division of Solomon in Northern Territory

Australian Capital Territory

There are 2 Divisions:

Northern Territory

There are 2 Divisions:

Abolished Divisions[change | change source]

These Australian electoral divisions no longer exist.


Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Australian Electoral Commission.Research Report 4 - Australian Federal Redistributions 1901-2003. Accessed May 5, 2008.
  2. Australian Electoral Commission. Guideline for Naming Divisions. August 3, 2007. Accessed May 5, 2008.