Australian Electoral Commission

Guidelines for making public submissions to a redistribution

Updated: 29 April 2015

The AEC invites public submissions regarding the conduct of a federal redistribution in a state or territory. This includes:

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

The redistribution timetable outlines the legislative timeframes for lodging public suggestions. All submissions lodged by the legislative deadlines are considered during the redistribution process. Submissions received after 6pm on the specified day are not able to be considered as part of the redistribution process. The indicative timetable for the state or territory redistribution indicates the day on which submissions must be made.

Content of submissions

A submission may contain facts, opinions, arguments or recommendations relating to the redrawing of electoral divisions being undertaken within a state or territory.

A submission could be made by an individual or a group. Community groups or a collective of individuals intending to make a submission on the same topic, such as the name of a division, may choose to use a petition attached to one submission to the Redistribution Committee or augmented Electoral Commission.

Submissions can cover all of the state or territory undergoing redistribution or only some of it. It is recommended that people or organisations lodging a submission refer to the redistribution criteria used by the Redistribution Committee, outlined in section 66 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, and by the augmented Electoral Commission, outlined in section 73 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

If your submission 'reflects adversely' on another person (for example, accusing them of lying or corrupt behaviour), it may be sent to that person so they can reply.

Formatting submissions

  • Submissions must be in writing, although maps may be included as part of the submission.
  • There is no prescribed format for a submission.
  • A submission may be any length. If the submission is longer than a few pages, it is useful to include a summary at the front.
  • Where maps are provided, A4/A3 size maps are preferred to facilitate copying.
  • If maps in spatial data format are provided with the submission, please also attach paper or PDF versions of the maps where possible to assist with clarity.
  • To assist with the processing of petitions, it would be appreciated if such documents could indicate the number of contributors and be provided as an unprotected word or excel table in order to streamline the redaction of names and addresses.

Lodging a submission

The best way to lodge a submission is online. Information regarding lodging a submission will be available on AEC website at the appropriate time. Other options for lodging submissions will also be available.

Public availability of submissions

Submissions are public documents and are made available after the relevant submission period expires to any member of the public:

  • by public inspection at the AEC State Office to which the redistribution relates (in the case of a redistribution of the ACT, at the office of the senior Divisional Returning Officer)
  • at each office of the AEC in the state or territory undergoing redistribution where this is required by provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918
  • as part of the Redistribution Committee's proposal report (suggestions and comments)
  • as part of the augmented Electoral Commission's report (all public submissions), and
  • on the AEC website.

Your signature and address will not be placed on the publicly available copy of your submission. However, it is important that you continue to supply your address as it can inform the deliberations of the Redistribution Committee and the augmented Electoral Commission.