Part I: Introduction - Background to the redivision

  1. This publication is the report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) on the 2012-2013 redivision of State electoral boundaries1. The report includes maps of the final boundaries of Victoria’s 88 Legislative Assembly electoral districts and 8 Legislative Council electoral regions. These boundaries will apply at the November 2014 State election.

Background to the redivision

  1. The organisation responsible for conducting redivisions is the Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC). The EBC is an independent statutory body composed of the Chief Judge of the County Court (His Honour Chief Judge Michael Rozenes AO), who is the chairman, the Electoral Commissioner (Ms Elizabeth Williams as Acting Electoral Commissioner until 29 April 2013, and then Mr Warwick Gately AM), and the Surveyor-General (Mr John Tulloch).
  2. The functions of the EBC are “to divide the State of Victoria into electoral regions for the Legislative Council and electoral districts for the Legislative Assembly as often as is necessary from time to time for the conduct of elections for the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly with the object of establishing and maintaining electoral regions of approximately equal enrolment and electoral districts of approximately equal enrolment and to determine the boundaries thereof” 2.
  3. The current redivision is the first for both Houses of Parliament since 2001. In 2005, following legislation to restructure the Upper House3, there was a redivision of Legislative Council boundaries alone, to establish the new electoral structure (of eight regions, each comprising 11 Legislative Assembly electoral districts) for the Legislative Council.
  4. Until 2004, a redivision was required only when the number of electors enrolled for the various electorates did not comply to a substantial extent with the requirements of the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 1982 (the Act) for approximately equal enrolment. The Electoral Legislation (Amendment) Act 2004 replaced this imprecise condition with a set of clear triggers for a redivision. The EBC must conduct a redivision if any of the following conditions apply in the period 24 to 18 months before the next scheduled State election:
    • enrolments for 3 or more electoral regions or 27 or more electoral districts have been more than 10 per cent outside the average for at least two months;
    • enrolments for 3 or more electoral regions or 23 or more electoral districts have been more than 10 per cent outside the average for at least two months, and enrolments for 1 or more of these electoral regions or 5 or more of these electoral districts have been more than 20 per cent outside the average for at least two months;
    • there have been more than two general elections (elections for all the members of both Houses of Parliament) since the last redivision;
    • the number of electoral regions or electoral districts has changed.
  5. At the 2006 State election, only eight districts (and no regions) were outside the 10 per cent tolerance. There was some political and media interest in whether a redivision would take place before the 2010 State election. However, by the end of the relevant period under the Act (27 May 2009), 16 districts and no regions were more than 10 per cent outside the average and three districts were more than 20 per cent outside. Thus the ‘numbers’ triggers for a redivision had not been met. The ‘general elections’ trigger also did not apply, as there had been only one general election as defined in the Act (in 2006) since the previous redivision.
  6. The next relevant period under the Act began on 29 November 2012 (24 months before the November 2014 State election). This was the point at which the ‘general elections’ trigger took effect, as there had been two general elections (in 2006 and 2010) since the last redivision, and the redivision could begin.



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1

‘Redivision’ is the term in Victorian electoral law for a review of electoral boundaries. The term used in Commonwealth law is ‘redistribution’.

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2

Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 1982, s. 5(1).

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3

Constitution (Parliamentary Reform) Act 2003.

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