The Northern Territory covers approximately 1,420,000 square kilometres and has 25 Legislative Assembly divisions, each represented by one elected Member of the Legislative Assembly. Electoral divisions are very different in geographical size and can range from as little as 4 square kilometres to almost 450,000 square kilometres. However, each division has approximately the same number of electors, around 5,500.
Electoral divisions may also be known as constituencies, electoral boundaries, electorates or seats. The term electorate can also refer to the electors enrolled in that division.
What is a redistribution?
In accordance with Part 8, Division 2, section 138(2) of the Electoral Act 2004, the redistribution process must start and finish as soon as practicable 2 years and 6 months after election day for the previous general election. The boundaries of each division are reviewed and changed, if necessary, so that the number of electors in each division are as near to equal as practicable. Any changes become effective at the next general election.
The redistribution process is managed by a redistribution committee that consists of the following members:
- the Electoral Commissioner
- the Surveyor-General
- the Auditor-General
- the appointed member (a person who has served as, or is qualified for appointment as, a Supreme Court Judge or Local Court Judge, is not a member of a political party and does not have a recent political affiliation).
The appointed member is the chairperson of the redistribution committee.
- calls for public suggestions
- publishes those suggestions and invites comments on those suggestions
- publishes a first proposed redistribution after considering suggestions and comments received
- calls for objections to the first proposed redistribution
- prepares the second redistribution and invites objections
- considers objections, decides redistribution and prepares a redistribution report.
The redistribution is carried out in accordance with the Electoral Act 2004 and the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978. It is an impartial and transparent process that is free of political interference. There are several opportunities for public participation and any individual or organisation can submit suggestions, comments or objections to the committee.
Find out more information about redistributions in the Northern Territory via the following links:
- History of redistributions in the Northern Territory
- Object, principles and matters to be considered
- Past redistributions