Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives

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Map of the 151 electoral divisions to the House of Representatives (blank) in use for the 2019 election.
The population of each Australian electoral division

In Australia, electoral districts for the Australian House of Representatives are called divisions or more commonly referred to as electorates or seats. There are currently 151 single-member electorates for the Australian House of Representatives.

Constitutional and legal requirements[edit]

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. The section 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 has given Tasmania higher representation than its population would justify. There are also three electorates in the Australian Capital Territory and two in the Northern Territory.

In addition, Section 29 forbids electorate boundaries from crossing state lines, forcing populated areas along state and territory borders to be placed in different electorates, such as Albury in New South Wales being part of the electorate of Farrer, while nearby Wodonga in Victoria is part of the electorate of Indi. The same restriction does not apply to territories, and several current electoral divisions incorporate electors from multiple territories. This is currently the case for the Division of Bean (covering part of the ACT and the whole of Norfolk Island), the Division of Fenner (covering part of the ACT and the whole of Jervis Bay Territory), and the Division of Lingiari (covering part of the Northern Territory and the whole of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands).

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 sets out further provisions.[1]

Apportionment[edit]

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) determines from time to time the number of members to which each state and territory is entitled and the boundaries of each electorate, in a process known in Australia as redistribution.

Within each state and territory, electoral boundaries are redrawn from time to time. 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 or "population".

The number of enrolled voters in each division cannot vary by more than 10% from the average across a state or territory, nor can the number of voters vary by more than 3.5% from the average projected enrolment 3.5 years into the future. However, due to various reasons, larger seats like Cowper (New South Wales) contain 80% more electors than that of smaller seats like Solomon (Northern Territory).

The last redistribution was completed in 2018, in time for the 2019 federal election. In this redistribution, the AEC added a seat to Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, and also determined that South Australia would lose a seat. The total number of seats in the House of Representatives therefore increased to 151. Seats in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia were also abolished, in order to make way for seats in similar locations but with different names.[2][3]

The historical apportionment of seats for the various states is:[4][5]

State 1901 '03 '06 '13 '22 '34 '37 '49 '55 '68 '69 '74 '77 '80 '84 89 '92 '94 '97 '99 2000 '03 '05 '06 '08 '09 '10 '11 '16 '17 '18 '20
New South Wales 26 27 27 28 28 47 46 45 43 51 50 50 49 48 47
Victoria 23 22 20 20 20 33 33 34 33 39 38 37 37 37 38 39
Queensland 9 9 10 10 10 18 18 18 19 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 30
Western Australia 5 5 5 5 5 8 9 9 10 10 10 13 14 14 15 15 16 15
South Australia 7 7 6 10 11 12 10 13 12 12 11 11 10
Tasmania 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Australian Capital Territory 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 3
Northern Territory 1 2 2 2 1
Total 75 75 75 75 75 74 74 121 122 124 125 127 124 125 148 148 147 148 148 148 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 151 150

Naming[edit]

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.

List of Divisions in 2019[edit]

The lists below show the Divisions as they exist at the 2019 Australian federal election. There were 47 Divisions in New South Wales, 38 in Victoria, 30 in Queensland, 16 in Western Australia, 10 in South Australia, 5 in Tasmania, 3 in the ACT and 2 in Northern Territory.

Name Formed State Namesake Known for
Adelaide 1903 South Australia City of Adelaide Geographic location
Aston 1984 Victoria Tilly Aston Teacher
Ballarat 1901 Victoria City of Ballarat Geographic location
Banks 1949 New South Wales Joseph Banks Botanist
Barker 1903 South Australia Collet Barker Explorer
Barton 1922 New South Wales Edmund Barton Prime Minister
Bass 1903 Tasmania George Bass Explorer
Bean 2019 Australian Capital Territory Charles Bean War correspondent, historian
Bendigo 1901 Victoria City of Bendigo Geographic location
Bennelong 1949 New South Wales Bennelong Aboriginal elder
Berowra 1969 New South Wales Suburb of Berowra Geographic location
Blair 1998 Queensland Harold Blair Aboriginal singer
Blaxland 1949 New South Wales Gregory Blaxland Explorer
Bonner 2004 Queensland Neville Bonner Aboriginal politician
Boothby 1903 South Australia William Boothby Electoral commissioner
Bowman 1949 Queensland David Bowman Politician
Braddon 1955 Tasmania Edward Braddon Premier of Tasmania
Bradfield 1949 New South Wales John Bradfield Designer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Brand 1984 Western Australia David Brand Premier of Western Australia
Brisbane 1901 Queensland City of Brisbane Geographic location
Bruce 1955 Victoria Stanley Bruce Prime Minister
Burt 2016 Western Australia Archibald, Septimus and Francis Burt
Calare 1906 New South Wales Aboriginal name for the Lachlan River Geographic location
Calwell 1984 Victoria Arthur Calwell Leader of the opposition
Canberra 1974 Australian Capital Territory City of Canberra Geographic location
Canning 1949 Western Australia Alfred Canning Surveyor of the Rabbit-proof fence
Capricornia 1901 Queensland Tropic of Capricorn Geographic location
Casey 1969 Victoria Richard Casey Governor General
Chifley 1969 New South Wales Ben Chifley Prime Minister
Chisholm 1949 Victoria Caroline Chisholm Philanthropist
Clark 2019 Tasmania Andrew Inglis Clark Co-author of the Australian Constitution
Cook 1969 New South Wales James Cook Explorer
Cooper 2019 Victoria William Cooper Aboriginal Activist
Corangamite 1901 Victoria Lake Corangamite Geographic location
Corio 1901 Victoria Corio Bay Geographic location
Cowan 1984 Western Australia Edith Cowan Politician and activist
Cowper 1901 New South Wales Charles Cowper NSW premier
Cunningham 1949 New South Wales Allan Cunningham Explorer
Curtin 1949 Western Australia John Curtin Prime Minister
Dawson 1949 Queensland Anderson Dawson Premier of Queensland
Deakin 1937 Victoria Alfred Deakin Prime Minister
Dickson 1992 Queensland James Robert Dickson Premier of Queensland
Dobell 1984 New South Wales William Dobell Painter
Dunkley 1984 Victoria Louisa Margaret Dunkley Labour unionist and women's rights campaigner
Durack 2010 Western Australia Mary Durack Author
Eden-Monaro 1901 New South Wales Town of Eden and region of Monaro Geographic location
Fadden 1977 Queensland Arthur Fadden Prime Minister
Fairfax 1984 Queensland Ruth Fairfax Founder of the Country Women's Association
Farrer 1949 New South Wales William Farrer Scientist
Fenner 2016 Australian Capital Territory Frank Fenner Scientist
Fisher 1949 Queensland Andrew Fisher Prime Minister
Flinders 1901 Victoria Matthew Flinders Explorer
Flynn 2006 Queensland John Flynn Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Forde 1984 Queensland Frank Forde Prime Minister
Forrest 1922 Western Australia John Forrest Explorer, Premier of Western Australia
Fowler 1984 New South Wales Lilian Fowler Mayor of Newtown
Franklin 1903 Tasmania John Franklin Explorer
Fraser 2019 Victoria Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister
Fremantle 1901 Western Australia City of Fremantle Geographic location
Gellibrand 1949 Victoria Joseph Gellibrand Attorney General of Tasmania
Gilmore 1984 New South Wales Mary Gilmore Poet and author
Gippsland 1901 Victoria Region of Gippsland Geographic location
Goldstein 1984 Victoria Vida Goldstein Suffragette
Gorton 2004 Victoria John Gorton Prime Minister
Grayndler 1949 New South Wales Edward Grayndler Politician and unionist
Greenway 1984 New South Wales Francis Greenway Architect
Grey 1903 South Australia George Grey Governor of South Australia
Griffith 1934 Queensland Samuel Griffith Premier of Queensland, Chief Justice of Australia
Groom 1984 Queensland Littleton Groom Politician
Hasluck 2001 Western Australia Paul and Alexandra Hasluck Governor General and author
Herbert 1901 Queensland Robert Herbert Premier of Queensland
Higgins 1949 Victoria H. B. Higgins Politician and judge
Hindmarsh 1903 South Australia John Hindmarsh Governor of South Australia
Hinkler 1984 Queensland Bert Hinkler Aviator
Holt 1969 Victoria Harold Holt Prime Minister
Hotham 1969 Victoria Charles Hotham Governor of Victoria
Hughes 1955 New South Wales Billy Hughes Prime Minister
Hume 1901 New South Wales Hamilton Hume Explorer
Hunter 1901 New South Wales John Hunter NSW Governor
Indi 1901 Victoria Aboriginal name for the Murray River Geographic location
Isaacs 1969 Victoria Isaac Isaacs Governor General, Chief Justice of Australia
Jagajaga 1984 Victoria Three Wurundjeri elders
Kennedy 1901 Queensland Edmund Kennedy Explorer
Kingsford Smith 1949 New South Wales Charles Kingsford Smith Aviator
Kingston 1949 South Australia Charles Kingston Premier of South Australia
Kooyong 1901 Victoria Suburb of Kooyong Geographic location
La Trobe 1949 Victoria Charles La Trobe Governor of Victoria
Lalor 1949 Victoria Peter Lalor Leader of the Eureka Rebellion
Leichhardt 1949 Queensland Ludwig Leichhardt Explorer
Lilley 1913 Queensland Charles Lilley Premier and Chief Justice of Queensland
Lindsay 1984 New South Wales Norman Lindsay Artist
Lingiari 2001 Northern Territory Vincent Lingiari Aboriginal activist
Longman 1996 Queensland Irene Longman Politician
Lyne 1949 New South Wales William Lyne NSW premier
Lyons 1984 Tasmania Joseph and Enid Lyons Prime Minister and politician
Macarthur 1949 New South Wales John and Elizabeth Macarthur Pioneers of early settlement
Mackellar 1949 New South Wales Charles and Dorothea Mackellar Politician and poet
Macnamara 2019 Victoria Jean Macnamara Scientist
Macquarie 1901 New South Wales Lachlan Macquarie Governor of NSW
Makin 1984 South Australia Norman Makin Politician
Mallee 1949 Victoria Region of The Mallee Geographic location
Maranoa 1901 Queensland Maranoa River Geographic location
Maribyrnong 1906 Victoria Maribyrnong River Geographic location
Mayo 1984 South Australia Helen Mayo Doctor
McEwen 1984 Victoria John McEwen Prime Minister
McPherson 1949 Queensland McPherson Range Geographic location
McMahon 2010 New South Wales William McMahon Prime Minister
Melbourne 1901 Victoria City of Melbourne Geographic location
Menzies 1984 Victoria Robert Menzies Prime Minister
Mitchell 1949 New South Wales Thomas Mitchell Explorer
Monash 2019 Victoria John Monash General and head of the armed forces
Moncrieff 1984 Queensland Gladys Moncrieff Singer
Moore 1949 Western Australia George Fletcher Moore Early WA settler
Moreton 1901 Queensland Moreton Bay Geographic location
New England 1901 New South Wales Region of New England Geographic location
Newcastle 1901 New South Wales City of Newcastle Geographic location
Nicholls 2019 Victoria Douglas and Gladys Nicholls Aboriginal activists
North Sydney 1901 New South Wales Suburb of North Sydney Geographic location
O'Connor 1980 Western Australia C. Y. O'Connor Engineer
Oxley 1949 Queensland John Oxley Explorer
Page 1984 New South Wales Earle Page Prime Minister
Parkes 1984 New South Wales Henry Parkes Governor of NSW
Parramatta 1901 New South Wales Suburb of Parramatta Geographic location
Paterson 1949, 1993 New South Wales Banjo Paterson Author and poet
Pearce 1989 Western Australia George Pearce Politician
Perth 1901 Western Australia City of Perth Geographic location
Petrie 1949 Queensland Andrew Petrie Architect
Rankin 1984 Queensland Annabelle Rankin Politician
Reid 1922 New South Wales George Reid Prime Minister
Richmond 1901 New South Wales Richmond River Geographic location
Riverina 1901, 1993 New South Wales Region of The Riverina Geographic location
Robertson 1901 New South Wales John Robertson Premier of NSW
Ryan 1949 Queensland T. J. Ryan Premier of Queensland
Scullin 1968 Victoria James Scullin Prime Minister
Shortland 1949 New South Wales John Shortland Explorer
Solomon 2000 Northern Territory Vaiben Louis Solomon Premier of South Australia
Spence 2019 South Australia Catherine Helen Spence Politician, author
Stirling 1955 Western Australia James Stirling Governor of Western Australia
Sturt 1949 South Australia Charles Sturt Explorer
Swan 1901 Western Australia Swan River Geographic location
Sydney 1968 New South Wales City of Sydney Geographic location
Tangney 1974 Western Australia Dorothy Tangney Politician
Warringah 1922 New South Wales Warringah Council Geographic location
Wannon 1901 Victoria Wannon River Geographic location
Watson 1992 New South Wales Chris Watson Prime Minister
Wentworth 1901 New South Wales William Wentworth Explorer
Werriwa 1901 New South Wales Aboriginal name for Lake George Geographic location
Whitlam 2016 New South Wales Gough Whitlam Prime Minister
Wide Bay 1901 Queensland Region of Wide Bay–Burnett Geographic location
Wills 1949 Victoria William John Wills Explorer
Wright 2009 Queensland Judith Wright Poet

Abolished divisions[edit]

These Australian Divisions no longer exist:

Name Formed Abolished State Namesake Known for
Angas (I) 1903 1934 SA George Fife Angas Businessman and banker
Angas (II) 1949 1977 SA
Australian Capital Territory 1949 1974 ACT Australian Capital Territory Geographic location
Balaclava 1901 1984 VIC Suburb of Balaclava Geographic location
Barrier 1901 1922 NSW Barrier Ranges Geographic location
Batman 1906 2019 VIC John Batman Founder of Melbourne
Bland 1901 1906 NSW William Bland Doctor
Bonython 1955 2004 SA John Langdon Bonython Editor and newspaper proprietor
Bourke 1901 1949 VIC Richard Bourke Governor of NSW
Burke (I) 1949 1955 VIC Robert O'Hara Burke Explorer
Burke (II) 1969 2004 VIC
Canobolas 1901 1906 NSW Mount Canobolas Geographic location
Charlton 1984 2016 NSW Matthew Charlton Politician
Cook (I) 1906 1955 NSW James Cook Explorer
Coolgardie 1901 1913 WA Town of Coolgardie Geographic location
Corinella (I) 1901 1906 VIC Corinella region Geographic location
Corinella (II) 1990 1996 VIC
Dalley 1901 1969 NSW William Bede Dalley Politician and barrister
Dampier 1913 1922 WA William Dampier Explorer
Darebin 1949 1969 VIC Darebin Creek Geographic location
Darling 1901 1977 NSW Darling River Geographic location
Darling Downs 1901 1984 QLD Darling Downs Geographic location
Darwin 1903 1955 TAS Charles Darwin Scientist
Denison 1903 2019 TAS William Denison Governor of Van Diemen's Land and NSW
Diamond Valley 1969 1984 VIC Diamond Creek Geographic location
Dundas 1977 1993 NSW Henry Dundas Scottish politician and aristocrat
East Sydney 1901 1969 NSW East Sydney Geographic location
Echuca 1901 1937 VIC Town of Echuca Geographic location
Evans 1949 1977 NSW George Evans Explorer
Fawkner 1906 1969 VIC John Pascoe Fawkner Pioneer
Fraser (I) 1974 2016 ACT Jim Fraser Politician
Grampians 1901 1922 VIC Grampians Ranges Geographic location
Gwydir 1901 2007 NSW Gwydir River Geographic location
Hawker 1969 1993 SA Charles Hawker Politician
Henty 1913 1990 VIC Henty family Pioneers
Higinbotham 1949 1969 VIC George Higinbotham Chief Justice of Victoria
Hoddle 1949 1955 VIC Robert Hoddle Surveyor, artist
Illawarra 1901 1922 NSW Region of Illawarra Geographic location
Isaacs (I) 1949 1969 VIC Isaac Isaacs Governor General, Chief Justice of Australia
Kalgoorlie 1901 2010 WA City of Kalgoorlie Geographic location
Laanecoorie 1901 1913 VIC Laanecoorie Geographic location
Lang 1901 1977 NSW John Dunmore Lang Politician and activist
Lawson 1949 1969 NSW Henry Lawson Writer and poet
Lowe 1949 2010 NSW Robert Lowe British statesman
Martin 1922 1955 NSW James Martin Premier of NSW, Chief Justice of NSW
McMillan 1949 2019 VIC Angus McMillan Pioneer
Melbourne Ports 2001 2019 VIC Suburb of Port Melbourne Geographic location
Mernda 1901 1913 VIC Town of Mernda Geographic location
Moira 1901 1906 VIC Shire of Moira Geographic location
Murray 1949 2019 VIC Murray River Geographic location
Namadgi 1996 1998 ACT Namadgi National Park Geographic location
Nepean 1906 1922 NSW Evan Nepean British politician
Northern Melbourne 1901 1906 VIC North Melbourne Geographic location
Northern Territory 1922 2001 NT Northern Territory Geographic location
Oxley (I) 1901 1934 QLD John Oxley Explorer
Parkes (I) 1901 1969 NSW Henry Parkes Premier of NSW
Phillip 1949 1993 NSW Arthur Phillip Governor of NSW
Port Adelaide 1949 2019 SA Suburb of Port Adelaide Geographic location
Prospect 1969 2010 NSW Prospect Reservoir Geographic location
Riverina-Darling 1984 1993 NSW Riverina region Geographic location
Scullin (I) 1955 1969 VIC James Scullin Prime Minister
South Australia 1901 1903 SA South Australia Geographic location
South Sydney 1901 1934 NSW Southern Sydney Geographic location
Southern Melbourne 1901 1906 VIC South Melbourne Geographic location
St George 1949 1993 NSW St George area Geographic location
Streeton 1984 1990 VIC Arthur Streeton Painter
Tasmania 1901 1903 TAS Tasmania Geographic location
Throsby 1984 2016 NSW Charles Throsby Explorer
Wakefield 1903 2019 SA Edward Gibbon Wakefield Pioneer
Watson (I) 1934 1969 NSW Chris Watson Prime Minister
West Sydney 1901 1969 NSW Area of Western Sydney Geographic location
Wilmot 1903 1984 TAS Sir John Eardley-Wilmot Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land
Wimmera 1901 1977 VIC Wimmera region Geographic location
Yarra 1901 1969 VIC Yarra River Geographic location

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Research Report 4 – Australian Federal Redistributions 1901–2003: The Redistribution process". aec.gov.au. Australian Electoral Commission. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
  2. ^ "Determination of membership entitlement to the House of Representatives". aec.gov.au. Australian Electoral Commission. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "2017-18 Federal Redistributions". abc.com.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Australian Federal Redistributions 1901 -2003" (PDF).
  5. ^ corporateName=Australian Electoral Commission; address=50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra ACT 2600; contact=13 23 26. "Previous redistributions". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 12 July 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)