Background to this Redistribution
The Legislative Council is currently comprised of 19 single member electoral divisions with elections held under a preferential voting system. Every member of the Council holds office for a fixed term of six years with periodic elections of three members held each year, and four in every sixth year.
In July 1998 the Tasmanian Parliament passed the Parliamentary Reform Act 1998. This had the effect of reducing the number of members in both Houses of Parliament. The House of Assembly (Lower House) was reduced from 35 to 25 members, and this reduction was implemented at the 1998 State House of Assembly election.
The Act requires that the Legislative Council (Upper House) be reduced from 19 to 15 members. The task of the Redistribution Committee and Tribunal is to create the 15 new Legislative Council divisions.
The reduction in members is to take place over a period of three annual elections in a manner to be determined by the Redistribution Tribunal.
The Redistribution Process
The process of creating new electoral boundaries commences with an Initial Redistribution Proposal published by the Redistribution Committee.
The Redistribution Committee comprises: Mr David Farrell, the Chief Electoral Officer; Mr Christopher Rowe, the Surveyor-General; and Mr Rodney Caswell, who has been nominated by the Australian Statistician.
After the publication of the Initial Redistribution Proposal the Redistribution Committee is dissolved. The members of the former Committee become members of the Redistribution Tribunal and are joined on that Tribunal by the Honourable Robert Nettlefold, a former judge of the Supreme Court, who is to be the Chairperson of the Tribunal, and Mr Julian Green, a person with expertise in the electoral processes of government relating to the functions of the Tasmanian parliamentary system.
As soon as practicable after the Redistribution Tribunal has concluded its inquiries into any comments, suggestions and objections to the Initial Redistribution Proposal it must make a Further Redistribution Proposal for the State. The Redistribution Tribunal may have occasion to consider subsequent comments, suggestions and objections before making a final determination.
Once the final determination of the new electoral boundaries and the names of the new divisions are made, the Tribunal must then determine the transition arrangements in respect of the newly determined divisions.
Projected Enrolment Methodology
As in 1995, the Redistribution Committee decided to use the services of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to provide projected enrolment statistics.
The ABS has advised that minor changes should be made to the projection methodology which was used in 1995. These changes were acceptable to and adopted by the Redistribution Committee.
Text provided by the ABS giving comprehensive details of the projection methodology and necessary assumptions made are contained in the Methodology section of this site.
The Redistribution Criteria
In accordance with the Legislative Council Electoral Boundaries Act 1995 the Redistribution Committee must take into account the following priorities–
- the first priority is to ensure, as far as practicable, that the number of electors in each Council division would not, (in four and a half years time) vary more than ±10% of the average Council division enrolment.
- the second priority is to take into account community of interest within each Council division.
After taking into account the priorities specified above, the Redistribution Committee must consider the following matters in the case of each electoral division–
- the means of communication and travel within the division;
- the physical features and area of the division;
- existing electoral boundaries;
- distinct natural boundaries.
The Council division quota is to be the basis for the Initial Redistribution Proposal.
For this redistribution the average divisional enrolment, or Quota, is 21,986 and was determined as at 25 September 1998.
In no case is any variation from the Council division quota to exceed 10 percent.