Tuesday, 22 February 2005
For immediate release


Electoral Boundaries Commission announces redivision of State upper house boundaries

Victoria's Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) today announced the start of the redivision of State Legislative Council (Upper House) electoral boundaries.

The redivision will create eight new electoral regions for the Upper House, replacing the current structure of 22 electoral provinces. Each region will have five members elected at each State election (whereas under the current structure, each province has two members, each serving two terms and elected on a rotating basis).

The Constitution (Parliamentary Reform) Act 2003 established the new structure for the Legislative Council. The new structure will take effect at the 2006 State election.

The same legislation requires the EBC to conduct the redivision to create the new regions between 1 January and 30 November 2005. At its meeting yesterday, the EBC decided that this was the appropriate time to commence the redivision.

The Commission will hold a public hearing at 9.30 am on Monday, 7 March 2005 at Court 3.3 of the County Court of Victoria, 250 William Street, Melbourne. At this hearing, the Commission will provide information concerning the procedures for the redivision.

An information sheet on the Victorian redivision process is attached.

Paul Thornton-Smith
Secretary

Attachment

2005 REDIVISION OF VICTORIA'S LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL BOUNDARIES: INFORMATION SHEET

Who will be carrying out the redivision?

Under the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act 1982, the body responsible for conducting redivisions is the Electoral Boundaries Commission. The Electoral Boundaries Commission is an independent statutory authority which consists of:

  • the Chief Judge of the County Court (Chief Judge Michael Rozenes) or the Chief Judge's appointed nominee, who is the chairman;
  • the Electoral Commissioner (Mr Steve Tully); and
  • the Surveyor-General (Mr John Tulloch).
In brief, the process to be followed by the Commission will be as follows.

The Commission, after a preliminary public hearing, will call for submissions and, following consideration of these, will publish maps showing the proposed boundaries for each electoral region. Following consideration of any submissions made to it on the proposed boundaries, the Commission will publish final boundaries. The final boundaries (which are not subject to any variation or veto by the Parliament) will only come into operation at the next State election. They will not come into operation on completion of the redivision.

What factors will the Electoral Boundaries Commission take into account in conducting the redivision?
The Commission will have to ensure that all eight electoral regions have approximately equal enrolment. This means that the enrolment for each region must not vary by more than 10 per cent from the average enrolment for all regions.

Each region must comprise eleven contiguous electoral districts (Lower House electorates).

As well, the Commission must give due consideration to:

  • area and physical features of terrain;
  • means of travel, traffic arteries, and communications and any special difficulties in connection therewith;
  • community or diversity of interests; and
  • the likelihood of changes in the number of electors in the various localities.

- ENDS -

For further information, please call:
Paul Thornton-Smith
Secretary
Electoral Boundaries Commission
Phone: 9299 0732
Email: paul.thornton-smith@vec.vic.gov.au

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