Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives
Electoral divisions for the Australian House of Representatives are commonly known as electorates, seats or divisions. There are currently 150 single-member electorates for the Australian House of Representatives.
Section 24 of the Constitution of Australia requires that the total number of members of the Australian House of Representatives shall be "as nearly as practicable" twice as many as the number of members of the Australian Senate.
Section 24 also requires that electorates be apportioned among the states in proportion to their respective populations; provided that each original state has at least 5 members in the House of Representatives, a provision that gives Tasmania higher representation than its population would justify.
Within each state and territory, electoral boundaries are redrawn from time to time in a process known as redistribution. This takes place at least once every 7 years, or when the state's entitlement to the number of members of the House of Representatives changes. Boundaries are drawn by a Redistribution Committee, and apportionment within a state is on the basis of the number of enrolled voters rather than total residents.
Within a state or territory, the number of enrolled voters in each Division can not vary by more than 10% from the average across the state, nor can the number of voters vary by more than 3.5% from the average projected enrolment three-and-a-half years into the future.
Divisions are divided into four classes according to population and demographic: inner metropolitan (well-established portions of a state capital city), outer metropolitan (more recently developed portions of a state capital), provincial (divisions made up predominantly of regional cities) and rural.
The Divisions of the House of Representatives are unusual in that many of them are not named after geographical features or numbered, as is the case in most other legislatures around the world. Most Divisions are named in honour of prominent historical people, such as former politicians (often Prime Ministers), explorers, artists and engineers.
In some cases where a Division is named after a geographical locality, the connection to that locality is sometimes tenuous. For instance, the Division of Werriwa, created in 1901, was named after the Aboriginal word for Lake George in the Canberra region. However, Werriwa has not contained Lake George for many decades, and has steadily moved some 200 km north to the south-western suburbs of Sydney over the past century.
- Name divisions after deceased Australians who have rendered outstanding service to their country, with consideration given to former Prime Ministers
- Retain the original names of Divisions proclaimed at Federation in 1901
- Avoid geographical place names
- Where appropriate use Aboriginal names
- Do not duplicate names of state electoral districts
List of Commonwealth Electoral Divisions, 2010–present
The maps below show the Division boundaries as they existed at the Australian federal election, 2010.
New South Wales
There are 48 Divisions:
Due to changing demographics, New South Wales will lose one seat in the House of Representatives as of the next federal election. The redistribution will involve extensive changes to existing boundaries, with approximately 20% of voters in New South Wales being moved into a new electorate. The Australian Electoral Commission has announced that the Division of Hunter will be abolished and its voters will be absorbed into the neighboring electorates of Charlton, New England, and Paterson. Due to the AEC's practice of giving preference to the names of the so-called 'Federation divisions,' those contested at the first federal election in 1901, the Division of Charlton will be renamed Division of Hunter.
Further, the Division of Throsby will be renamed Division of Whitlam, after former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, part of another AEC practice of honouring deceased Prime Ministers with electoral divisions.
There are 37 Divisions:
There are 30 Divisions:
There are 15 Divisions:
Due to Western Australia's growing population, it will gain a 16th seat in the Australian House of Representatives as of the next Australian federal election. The Australian Electoral Commission has proclaimed the 16th seat the Division of Burt, named after one of Western Australia's most prominent legal families, and three members thereof in particular:
- Sir Archibald Burt (1810–1879), the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia,
- Septimus Burt (1847–1919), Attorney-General of Western Australia during the colonial period, and
- Sir Francis Burt (1918–2004), Governor of Western Australia from 1990 until 1993.
The new division of Burt will be located in the south-eastern suburbs of Perth, and will be created out of portions of the neighbouring divisions of Canning, Hasluck and Tangney, and a small portion of Swan.
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 a list of members of the current House of Representatives and the electorates they represent, see List of members of the Australian House of Representatives.
- For a description of how the House of Representatives is elected, see Australian electoral system.
- 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 5 May 2008.
- Demographic Classification of Divisions
- Australian Electoral Commission. Guideline for Naming Divisions. Updated 20 July 2011. Accessed 1 February 2012.