Committee structure | NTEC

Committee structure

Local Government Representation Review logo

The committee consists of:

  • the Electoral Commissioner; and
  • the Surveyor-General; and
  • the CEO of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT)
    • The chairperson of the committee is the CEO of LGANT.

All 3 committee members bring specialist expertise to the representation review process:

The Electoral Commissioner is the returning officer for local government general elections which are conducted using the internal boundaries being considered. They will provide data for enrolment numbers and voter participation, and information about the impacts of ward structure and representation on the electoral process. The Electoral Commissioner is also a member of the redistribution committee which reviews the boundaries of Legislative Assembly electorates in readiness for the Territory election.

The Surveyor-General brings extensive geographic, mapping and surveying knowledge of the Northern Territory to the decision making process. The Surveyor-General is also a member of the redistribution committee which reviews the boundaries of Legislative Assembly electorates in readiness for the Territory election.

LGANT is the peak body representing the local government sector in the Northern Territory and provides leadership, support and representation on issues impacting the sector. The CEO will bring a thorough understanding of the interests, concerns and challenges of the councils being reviewed.

The committee is supported by staff and resources from the following agencies:

  • Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC)
  • Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
  • Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT)
  • Local Government and Regional Development (Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet)
  • Digital Services (Department of Corporate and Digital Development)

Powers of the representation committee

Matters the representation committee can determine

Part 3.2 of the Local Government Act 2019, gives the committee the power to make determinations about matters relating to the internal boundaries of council areas including:

  • ward boundaries
  • the number of elected members for each ward (which must add up to the total number of members for the council area that was in place before the determination)
  • the introduction or removal of wards in council areas

Matters the representation committee can recommend

There are some aspects of local government representation that cannot be determined by the committee as only the Minister for Local Government can make these decisions. However, the committee can make recommendations to the minister about the following:

External boundaries of council areas

The committee may look at external council boundaries, particularly those that do not currently align with land parcels or property boundaries, or other minor anomalies, and make a recommendation to the minister.

Unincorporated areas

Any decision about introducing unincorporated areas into a nearby council area is made by the NT Government (NTG). Recommendations about unincorporated areas are not a priority for the committee during this review.

The NTG recently announced the incorporation of Elrundie, Tivendale and Wishart into the City of Palmerston. As this comes into effect from 1 July 2022, these areas will be part of any representation considerations made for the City of Palmerston.

A discussion paper on the Cox-Daly and Marrakai-Douglas Daly incorporated areas' inclusion into a local government area was released on 23 March 2022.

Total number of elected members

While the committee can make determinations about the number of elected members for existing wards, and any newly introduced wards, this must add up to the total number of members prescribed for each council before the determination, which is decided by the minister.

Ward names

If the committee determines to introduce wards to an existing undivided council area, they can make recommendations to the minister about the names of the new wards

The committee strongly encourages suggestions of names for any new wards or change of name to existing wards.

The decision about how the mayor or president is chosen (for example, by the people at election time or by the council) is made by each council. Any suggestions about how the mayor or president is chosen should be directed to the relevant council.

Considerations the committee must make in their deliberations

In making their determinations, the committee must consider the following:

  • community of interests in the council area including economic, social and regional interests
  • types of communication and travel in the council area with special reference to issues arising out of remoteness or distance
  • the trend of population changes in the council area
  • the density of population in the council area
  • the physical features of the council area.

In addition, if the committee is making determinations concerning current ward structures, or is investigating the introduction of wards, then they must further consider the desirability of:

  • the number of electors for each ward being as near to equal as practicable at the next general election
  • keeping the area of each ward containing rural and remote areas as small as practicable
  • keeping the demographic and geographic nature of each ward as uniform as practicable
  • including an identifiable community (like a suburb, land parcel or property, or a cultural or language group) wholly within one ward if possible.