Essential information about the South Australian federal redistribution

Updated: 4 September 2017

Why is South Australia undergoing a redistribution?

South Australia is undergoing a redistribution because the number of members of the House of Representatives it is entitled to has decreased from 11 to 10 as a result of a determination made by the Electoral Commissioner on Thursday 31 August 2017.

Sub-section 59(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) specifies that a redistribution process should be undertaken when:

  • the number of members of the House of Representatives to which a state or territory is entitled has changed, or
  • the number of electors in more than one-third of the electoral divisions in a state (or one of the electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory) deviates from the average divisional enrolment by over ten per cent for a period of more than two months, or
  • a period of seven years has elapsed since the last redistribution process was determined.

The redistribution formally commenced on Monday 4 September 2017.

How many federal electoral divisions will there be after the redistribution?

South Australia is now entitled to ten federal electoral divisions, which is a decrease of one from the current 11 electoral divisions.

Which electoral division will be abolished?

Individuals and organisations are able to propose which electoral division should be abolished at two stages of the redistribution process:

  • the suggestions and comments on suggestions stage, and
  • the objections and comments on objections stage.

The Redistribution Committee will consider any ideas it receives in suggestions and comments on suggestions advocating for the abolition of a federal electoral division and in their proposed redistribution will indicate which federal electoral division has been abolished, together with reasons for the proposal.

Individuals and organisations can object to the Redistribution Committee's proposed abolition. Objections may agree or disagree with the Redistribution Committee’s proposal. Any ideas received in objections and comments on objections advocating for a particular federal electoral division to be abolished will be considered by the augmented Electoral Commission for South Australia, who is ultimately responsible for determining the federal electoral divisions in South Australia.

The name of an abolished electoral division may be re-used.

Will the boundaries of the current electoral divisions change?

Electoral divisions are required to fall within two numerical ranges:

  • the number of electors enrolled in each federal electoral division as at Monday 4 September 2017 must be between minus 10 per cent and plus 10 per cent of the current enrolment quota
  • as far as practicable, the projected number of electors enrolled in each federal electoral division in South Australia  at the projection time would be between minus 3.5 per cent and plus 3.5 per cent of the projected enrolment quota.

Abolishing an electoral division will, of necessity, result in significant elector movement away from the abolished electoral division and will also require consequential boundary changes and elector movements across the state to ensure that all electoral divisions remain within the two numerical ranges.

Creating an electoral division will, of necessity, require consequential boundary changes and elector movements across the state to ensure that all electoral divisions remain within the two numerical ranges.

Please note: Information as to whether each electoral division meets this requirement will be supplied prior to the period to make suggestions to the redistribution.

Will the names of the current electoral divisions change?

The names of the current electoral divisions may or may not change.

Individuals and organisations are able to propose alternative names for electoral divisions at two stages of the redistribution process:

  • the suggestions and comments on suggestions stage, and
  • the objections and comments on objections stage.

The Redistribution Committee will consider any ideas it receives in suggestions and comments on suggestions advocating a change of name for a federal electoral division and in their proposed redistribution will indicate whether it has or has not proposed changing the name of a federal electoral division, together with reasons for the proposal.

Individuals and organisations can object to the Redistribution Committee's proposed names of federal electoral divisions. Objections may agree or disagree with the Redistribution Committee’s proposal. Any ideas received in objections and comments on objections advocating a change of name for a federal electoral division will be considered by the augmented Electoral Commission for South Australia, who is ultimately responsible for determining the names of the federal electoral divisions in South Australia.

Information about the names of current federal electoral divisions in South Australia

How do current electoral division names meet the guidelines for naming electoral divisions?

The Guidelines for naming federal electoral divisions were developed by the AEC from recommendations made by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in 1995 in its Report on the Effectiveness and Appropriateness of the Redistribution Provisions of Parts III and IV of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. These guidelines are non-binding but may be referred to by the Redistribution Committee for South Australia or the augmented Electoral Commission for South Australia to assist with their decision making process.

The extent to which the names of South Australia's current federal electoral divisions meet these guidelines is displayed below.

Electoral division Is the electoral division named for a prominent person? Is the electoral division named for an Australian Prime Minister? Is the electoral division name that of an original Federation electoral division?*See discussion below Is the electoral division named for a geographical feature? Is the electoral division named for an aboriginal person or word?
Adelaide No No No Yes No
Barker Yes No No No No
Boothby Yes No No No No
Grey Yes No No No No
Hindmarsh Yes No No No No
Kingston Yes No No No No
Makin Yes No No No No
Mayo Yes No No No No
Port Adelaide No No No Yes No
Sturt Yes No No No No
Wakefield Yes No No No No

Does South Australia have Federation electoral divisions?

'Federation electoral divisions' have been interpreted in two ways.

One interpretation is that Federation electoral divisions are those which were in place for the first federal election held in 1901. However, for the first federal election in 1901, South Australia was not divided into electoral divisions. At the 1901 elections, South Australia voted as one electoral division and members of the House of Representatives were elected for South Australia. On this interpretation, 'South Australia' would be the Federation electoral division.

South Australia was divided into seven electoral divisions prior to the second federal election in 1903, including the Divisions of Adelaide, Barker, Boothby, Grey, Hindmarsh and Wakefield. The second interpretation is that because these electoral divisions were defined and named before the second federal election, they are original federation electoral divisions in South Australia and it would be against the spirit of the guidelines to change these names without very strong reasons.

Adelaide

Origins of name

The Division of Adelaide is named for the city of Adelaide which in turn was named after Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 2 October 1903 and was first represented in 1903.

Barker

Origins of name

The Division of Barker is named for Captain Collet Barker 1784–1831, an explorer in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 2 October 1903 and was first represented in 1903.

More information

Biographical information about Captain Collet Barker from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Boothby

Origins of name

The Division of Boothby is named for William Boothby 1829–1903, the Returning Officer for the first election of Members of the House of Representatives in 1901.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 2 October 1903 and was first represented in 1903.

More information

Biographical information about William Boothby from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Grey

Origins of name

The Division of Grey is named for Sir George Grey 1812–98, Governor of South Australia from 1841–45.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 2 October 1903 and was first represented in 1903.

More information

Biographical information about Sir George Grey from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Hindmarsh

Origins of name

The Division of Hindmarsh is named for Sir John Hindmarsh 1786–1860, first Governor of South Australia.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 2 October 1903 and was first represented in 1903.

More information

Biographical information about Sir John Hindmarsh from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Kingston

Origins of name

The Division of Kingston is named for Charles Kingston 1850–1908, Premier of South Australia 1893–99.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 11 May 1949 and was first represented in 1949.

More information

Biographical information about Charles Kingston from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Makin

Origins of name

The Division of Makin is named for Norman Makin 1889–1982, Member of the House of Representatives 1919–46, 1954–63 and Speaker of the House 1929–31.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 3 September 1984 and was first represented in 1984

More information

Biographical information about Norman Makin from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Mayo

Origins of name

The Division of Mayo is named for Helen Mayo 1878–1967, co-founder of the Mothers' and Babies' Health Association in 1927 and first woman elected to a University Council of Australia in 1914.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 3 September 1984 and was first represented in 1984.

More information

Biographical information about Helen Mayo from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Port Adelaide

Origins of name

The Division of Port Adelaide is named for the locality which was discovered by Collet Barker in 1831.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 11 May 1949 and was first represented in 1949.

Sturt

Origins of name

The Division of Sturt is named for Captain Charles Sturt 1795–1869, explorer.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 11 May 1949 and was first represented in 1949.

More information

Biographical information about Captain Charles Sturt from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Wakefield

Origins of name

The Division of Wakefield is named for Edward Gibbon Wakefield 1796–1862, whose theories of colonisation had a great impact on the formation of settlements in Western Australia and South Australia.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 2 October 1903 and was first represented in 1903.

More information

Biographical information about Edward Wakefield from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

When will the redistribution come into effect?

Changes to federal electoral divisions as a result of this redistribution will apply from the day on which a notice of determination is published in the Commonwealth Notices Government Gazette. This notice will be published on 20 July 2018.

Electoral events will not be contested on these new federal electoral divisions until a writ is issued for a general election following the expiry or dissolution of the House of Representatives.

Should a writ for a general election be issued before the notice of determination is published, a mini-redistribution will be conducted. For further information, see: