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 specifies 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 otherwise justify. There are three electorates in the Australian Capital Territory and even though the Northern Territory should have only one electorate based on their population, parliament have legislated that they receive two.

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 and redistribution[edit]

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) determines the number of members of the House of Representatives to which each state and territory is entitled (called apportionment) and the boundaries of each electorate, in a process known as redistribution. Such apportionment and redistributions apply to the next federal election, but not to any by-elections. The last apportionment determination was made in July 2020, and the resulting redistribution is to take place during 2021, in time for the next federal election, due by 2022.

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 redistributions within a state are 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 in New South Wales contain 80% more electors than that of smaller seats like Solomon in the Northern Territory. In 2018, 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]

At the 2019 Australian federal election, based on the 2018 apportionment, there were 151 divisions: 47 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.

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 current electoral divisions[edit]

The divisions that existed at the 2019 Australian federal election appear in the table below. A redistribution took place in Victoria and Western Australia. As a result of this the division of Stirling in Western Australia will be abolished, and a new division called Hawke will be created in Victoria, named for former prime minister, Bob Hawke.

Name Formed State Size (km2) Namesake Known for
Adelaide 1903 South Australia 76 City of Adelaide Geographic location
Aston 1984 Victoria 113 Tilly Aston Teacher
Ballarat 1901 Victoria 4,322 City of Ballarat Geographic location
Banks 1949 New South Wales 53 Joseph Banks Botanist
Barker 1903 South Australia 63,886 Collet Barker Explorer
Barton 1922 New South Wales 40 Edmund Barton Prime Minister
Bass 1903 Tasmania 7,975 George Bass Explorer
Bean 2019 Australian Capital Territory

Norfolk Island

1,913 Charles Bean War correspondent, historian
Bendigo 1901 Victoria 5,496 City of Bendigo Geographic location
Bennelong 1949 New South Wales 60 Bennelong Aboriginal elder
Berowra 1969 New South Wales 786 Suburb of Berowra Geographic location
Blair 1998 Queensland 6,472 Harold Blair Aboriginal singer
Blaxland 1949 New South Wales 61 Gregory Blaxland Explorer
Bonner 2004 Queensland 374 Neville Bonner Aboriginal politician
Boothby 1903 South Australia 130 William Boothby Electoral commissioner
Bowman 1949 Queensland 536 David Bowman Politician
Braddon 1955 Tasmania 21,369 Edward Braddon Premier of Tasmania
Bradfield 1949 New South Wales 101 John Bradfield Designer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Brand 1984 Western Australia 377 David Brand Premier of Western Australia
Brisbane 1901 Queensland 57 City of Brisbane Geographic location
Bruce 1955 Victoria 95 Stanley Bruce Prime Minister
Burt 2016 Western Australia 172 Archibald, Septimus and Francis Burt
Calare 1906 New South Wales 32,666 Aboriginal name for the Lachlan River Geographic location
Calwell 1984 Victoria 265 Arthur Calwell Leader of the opposition
Canberra 1974 Australian Capital Territory 312 City of Canberra Geographic location
Canning 1949 Western Australia 6,304 Alfred Canning Surveyor of the Rabbit-proof fence
Capricornia 1901 Queensland 90,903 Tropic of Capricorn Geographic location
Casey 1969 Victoria 2,466 Richard Casey Governor General
Chifley 1969 New South Wales 126 Ben Chifley Prime Minister
Chisholm 1949 Victoria 65 Caroline Chisholm Philanthropist
Clark 2019 Tasmania 292 Andrew Inglis Clark Co-author of the Australian Constitution
Cook 1969 New South Wales 94 James Cook Explorer
Cooper 2019 Victoria 60 William Cooper Aboriginal Activist
Corangamite 1901 Victoria 5,441 Lake Corangamite Geographic location
Corio 1901 Victoria 773 Corio Bay Geographic location
Cowan 1984 Western Australia 180 Edith Cowan Politician and activist
Cowper 1901 New South Wales 7,296 Charles Cowper NSW premier
Cunningham 1949 New South Wales 519 Allan Cunningham Explorer
Curtin 1949 Western Australia 98 John Curtin Prime Minister
Dawson 1949 Queensland 14,630 Anderson Dawson Premier of Queensland
Deakin 1937 Victoria 79 Alfred Deakin Prime Minister
Dickson 1992 Queensland 724 James Robert Dickson Premier of Queensland
Dobell 1984 New South Wales 787 William Dobell Painter
Dunkley 1984 Victoria 152 Louisa Margaret Dunkley Labour unionist and women's rights campaigner
Durack 2010 Western Australia 1,629,858 Mary Durack Author
Eden-Monaro 1901 New South Wales 41,617 Town of Eden and region of Monaro Geographic location
Fadden 1977 Queensland 387 Arthur Fadden Prime Minister
Fairfax 1984 Queensland 1,004 Ruth Fairfax Founder of the Country Women's Association
Farrer 1949 New South Wales 126,590 William Farrer Scientist
Fenner 2016 Australian Capital Territory

Jervis Bay Territory

238 Frank Fenner Scientist
Fisher 1949 Queensland 1,198 Andrew Fisher Prime Minister
Flinders 1901 Victoria 871 Matthew Flinders Explorer
Flynn 2006 Queensland 132,824 John Flynn Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Forde 1984 Queensland 418 Frank Forde Prime Minister
Forrest 1922 Western Australia 11,072 John Forrest Explorer, Premier of Western Australia
Fowler 1984 New South Wales 69 Lilian Fowler Mayor of Newtown
Franklin 1903 Tasmania 10,009 John Franklin Explorer
Fraser 2019 Victoria 106 Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister
Fremantle 1901 Western Australia 196 City of Fremantle Geographic location
Gellibrand 1949 Victoria 124 Joseph Gellibrand Attorney General of Tasmania
Gilmore 1984 New South Wales 6,342 Mary Gilmore Poet and author
Gippsland 1901 Victoria 33,182 Region of Gippsland Geographic location
Goldstein 1984 Victoria 50 Vida Goldstein Suffragette
Gorton 2004 Victoria 540 John Gorton Prime Minister
Grayndler 1949 New South Wales 32 Edward Grayndler Politician and unionist
Greenway 1984 New South Wales 81 Francis Greenway Architect
Grey 1903 South Australia 904,881 George Grey Governor of South Australia
Griffith 1934 Queensland 57 Samuel Griffith Premier of Queensland, Chief Justice of Australia
Groom 1984 Queensland 5,586 Littleton Groom Politician
Hasluck 2001 Western Australia 1,192 Paul and Alexandra Hasluck Governor General and author
Herbert 1901 Queensland 946 Robert Herbert Premier of Queensland
Higgins 1949 Victoria 41 H. B. Higgins Politician and judge
Hindmarsh 1903 South Australia 78 John Hindmarsh Governor of South Australia
Hinkler 1984 Queensland 3,504 Bert Hinkler Aviator
Holt 1969 Victoria 266 Harold Holt Prime Minister
Hotham 1969 Victoria 83 Charles Hotham Governor of Victoria
Hughes 1955 New South Wales 369 Billy Hughes Prime Minister
Hume 1901 New South Wales 17,240 Hamilton Hume Explorer
Hunter 1901 New South Wales 10,640 John Hunter NSW Governor
Indi 1901 Victoria 29,187 Aboriginal name for the Murray River Geographic location
Isaacs 1969 Victoria 155 Isaac Isaacs Governor General, Chief Justice of Australia
Jagajaga 1984 Victoria 104 Three Wurundjeri elders
Kennedy 1901 Queensland 567,377 Edmund Kennedy Explorer
Kingsford Smith 1949 New South Wales 91 Charles Kingsford Smith Aviator
Kingston 1949 South Australia 171 Charles Kingston Premier of South Australia
Kooyong 1901 Victoria 55 Suburb of Kooyong Geographic location
La Trobe 1949 Victoria 748 Charles La Trobe Governor of Victoria
Lalor 1949 Victoria 493 Peter Lalor Leader of the Eureka Rebellion
Leichhardt 1949 Queensland 109,455 Ludwig Leichhardt Explorer
Lilley 1913 Queensland 144 Charles Lilley Premier and Chief Justice of Queensland
Lindsay 1984 New South Wales 339 Norman Lindsay Artist
Lingiari 2001 Northern Territory

Christmas Island

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

1,352,371 Vincent Lingiari Aboriginal activist
Longman 1996 Queensland 1,237 Irene Longman Politician
Lyne 1949 New South Wales 16,099 William Lyne NSW premier
Lyons 1984 Tasmania 35,721 Joseph and Enid Lyons Prime Minister and politician
Macarthur 1949 New South Wales 363 John and Elizabeth Macarthur Pioneers of early settlement
Mackellar 1949 New South Wales 233 Charles and Dorothea Mackellar Politician and poet
Macnamara 2019 Victoria 41 Jean Macnamara Scientist
Macquarie 1901 New South Wales 4,374 Lachlan Macquarie Governor of NSW
Makin 1984 South Australia 130 Norman Makin Politician
Mallee 1949 Victoria 81,962 Region of The Mallee Geographic location
Maranoa 1901 Queensland 729,897 Maranoa River Geographic location
Maribyrnong 1906 Victoria 64 Maribyrnong River Geographic location
Mayo 1984 South Australia 9,315 Helen Mayo Doctor
McEwen 1984 Victoria 2,670 John McEwen Prime Minister
McPherson 1949 Queensland 229 McPherson Range Geographic location
McMahon 2010 New South Wales 168 William McMahon Prime Minister
Melbourne 1901 Victoria 40 City of Melbourne Geographic location
Menzies 1984 Victoria 184 Robert Menzies Prime Minister
Mitchell 1949 New South Wales 101 Thomas Mitchell Explorer
Monash 2019 Victoria 8,879 John Monash General and head of the armed forces
Moncrieff 1984 Queensland 100 Gladys Moncrieff Singer
Moore 1949 Western Australia 90 George Fletcher Moore Early WA settler
Moreton 1901 Queensland 109 Moreton Bay Geographic location
New England 1901 New South Wales 66,394 Region of New England Geographic location
Newcastle 1901 New South Wales 171 City of Newcastle Geographic location
Nicholls 2019 Victoria 14,768 Douglas and Gladys Nicholls Aboriginal activists
North Sydney 1901 New South Wales 53 Suburb of North Sydney Geographic location
O'Connor 1980 Western Australia 868,576 C. Y. O'Connor Engineer
Oxley 1949 Queensland 159 John Oxley Explorer
Page 1984 New South Wales 19,342 Earle Page Prime Minister
Parkes 1984 New South Wales 393,413 Henry Parkes Governor of NSW
Parramatta 1901 New South Wales 57 Suburb of Parramatta Geographic location
Paterson 1949, 1993 New South Wales 1,123 Banjo Paterson Author and poet
Pearce 1989 Western Australia 13,250 George Pearce Politician
Perth 1901 Western Australia 80 City of Perth Geographic location
Petrie 1949 Queensland 152 Andrew Petrie Architect
Rankin 1984 Queensland 131 Annabelle Rankin Politician
Reid 1922 New South Wales 55 George Reid Prime Minister
Richmond 1901 New South Wales 2,148 Richmond River Geographic location
Riverina 1901, 1993 New South Wales 48,988 Region of The Riverina Geographic location
Robertson 1901 New South Wales 980 John Robertson Premier of NSW
Ryan 1949 Queensland 370 T. J. Ryan Premier of Queensland
Scullin 1968 Victoria 116 James Scullin Prime Minister
Shortland 1949 New South Wales 265 John Shortland Explorer
Solomon 2000 Northern Territory 337 Vaiben Louis Solomon Premier of South Australia
Spence 2019 South Australia 532 Catherine Helen Spence Politician, author
Stirling 1955 Western Australia 74 James Stirling Governor of Western Australia
Sturt 1949 South Australia 85 Charles Sturt Explorer
Swan 1901 Western Australia 134 Swan River Geographic location
Sydney 1968 New South Wales 44 City of Sydney Geographic location
Tangney 1974 Western Australia 83 Dorothy Tangney Politician
Warringah 1922 New South Wales 68 Warringah Council Geographic location
Wannon 1901 Victoria 33,419 Wannon River Geographic location
Watson 1992 New South Wales 47 Chris Watson Prime Minister
Wentworth 1901 New South Wales 38 William Wentworth Explorer
Werriwa 1901 New South Wales 172 Aboriginal name for Lake George Geographic location
Whitlam 2016 New South Wales 1,331 Gough Whitlam Prime Minister
Wide Bay 1901 Queensland 14,227 Region of Wide Bay–Burnett Geographic location
Wills 1949 Victoria 46 William John Wills Explorer
Wright 2009 Queensland 7,577 Judith Wright Poet

Abolished divisions[edit]

These 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 1901 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.