State Redistributions

What is a redistribution of electoral boundaries?  
Who conducts the redistribution of electoral boundaries?
When does the need for the redistribution arise?
What criteria are used to draw the electoral boundaries?
What are the steps in the redistribution process?
Redistribution Timetable
Who makes the final decision?
When do the new boundaries come into effect?
Redistribution History
How to View a Copy of the Redistribution Commission’s Report?
Naming Electoral Districts 

What is a redistribution of electoral boundaries?

An electoral redistribution is a process that determines the re-drawing of state electoral boundaries known as electoral districts.

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Who conducts the redistribution of electoral boundaries?

The Queensland Redistribution Commission is an independent body responsible for the re-drawing Queensland’s electoral boundaries. The Electoral Commissioner is automatically a member of the Redistribution Commission. The other appointees must be a judge (or retired judge) who acts as Chair and a Chief Executive Officer of a government department (or equivalent).

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When does the need for the redistribution arise?  

  • When the number of electoral districts for the state changes;
  • When the number of enrolled electors, for more than one third of the 89 electoral districts, is over or under the average number of enrolled electors (quota) for an electoral district by ±10%, and has been so for two consecutive months;
  • One year after the third general election which was held after the last electoral redistribution;
  • 7.5 years after the last electoral redistribution was finalised. (The last redistribution became final on 20 August 2008.); or 
  • If the need for an electoral redistribution based on the rules above arises more than 16 months after the day on which the writ for the previous general election was returned, the Commissioner must defer undertaking the electoral redistribution until after the return of the writ for the next general election (Electoral Act 1992 s35 (4)).

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What criteria are used to draw the electoral boundaries?

The Commission must consider the following matters:

  • The extent to which there is a community of economic, social, regional or other interests within each proposed electoral district;
  • The methods of communication and travel within each proposed electoral district; 
  • The physical features of each proposed electoral district;
  • The boundaries of existing electoral districts; and
  • Demographic trends in the state, with a view to ensuring as far as practicable that on the basis of the trends, the need for another electoral redistribution will not arise under section 39 before it does under section 38 of the Electoral Act 1992 i.e. a quota needs to be applied to the projected enrolment data.

The redistribution must also be within the following numerical limits: 

  • For electoral districts with an area less than 100,000km2, the number of enrolled electors in an electoral district be within ±10% of the average number of enrolled electors.
  • For electoral districts with an area greater than 100,000 km2, 2% of the total area of the electorate is taken to represent the number of “notional electors”. This figure is added to the number of actual enrolled electors in the district to make the total number of electors fall within ±10% of the average number of enrolled electors. For example, an electoral district with an area of 250,000 km2 would have 5000 “notional electors”. This figure is added to the actual number of electors when calculating whether the number of enrolled electors is within ±10% of the average number of enrolled electors.
  • The Commission may also consider the boundaries of local government areas to the extent that it is satisfied that there is a community of economic, social, regional or other interests within each local government area.

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What are the steps in the redistribution process?

The Redistribution Commission:

  • Calls for suggestions from members of the public, individuals or groups;
  • Publishes the suggestions, making them available for public comment;
  • Publishes the comments on the suggestions;
  • Develops a proposed redistribution including proposed names for the proposed electoral districts , taking into account suggestions and comments;
  • Publishes the proposed redistribution, making it available for objections;
  • Publishes the objections, making them available for public comment;
  • Publishes the comments on the objections; and
  • Advertises and gazettes the results of the redistribution and tables the relevant documents in State Parliament.

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Redistribution Timetable

The Redistribution Commission must follow the below timetable as prescribed by the Electoral Act 1992 when carrying out the redistribution: 

 

  Activity Timetable
1. The Redistribution Commission invites written suggestions from the public  
  Inviting suggestions

30 days after publication of the

notice in the gazette
2. Closing date for written suggestions  
  Inviting comments on suggestions 21 days after the notice is published in the gazette
3. Closing date for written comments  
4. The Redistribution Commission determines State quota – considers suggestions and comments, and develops a set of electoral district boundary proposals No time specified to formulate proposals
5. The Redistribution Commission prepares its proposed redistribution report, publishes and exhibits maps showing proposed boundaries and names and invites public attention to the maps and report  
 

Inviting objections against proposed electoral redistribution

30 days after publication of the

notice in the gazette
6. Closing date for written objections  
  Inviting comments on objections

10 days after the

notice in published in the gazette
7. Closing date for written comments on the objections  
8. The Redistribution Commission considers objections and comments and makes a final boundary determination  
  Final date for the Commission’s determination 60 days after close of objections
9. When redistribution takes effect 21* days after the publication of the notice

 


*subject to Electoral Act 1992 - section 57(6)

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Who makes the final decision?

The Queensland Redistribution Commission makes the final decision.

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 When do the new boundaries come into effect?  

The enrolment of new electors and changes to existing enrolments are implemented immediately following the determination of new boundaries. However, for the purpose of electing Members of Queensland Parliament, the new boundaries do not come into effect until the next state general election. If a by-election is held prior to the next state election, the by-election will be conducted on existing boundaries not the redistributed boundaries.

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Redistribution History

There has been 19 redistributions since self-government was established for Queensland in 1859, with 2008 being the last redistribution. A redistribution is conducted approximately every eight years.

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How to View a Copy of the Redistribution Commission’s Report?  

The 1999 report of the Queensland Redistribution Commission was published in the Queensland Government Gazette (No. 72) on Wednesday, 7 July 1999, pages 1239–1494.

The 2008 report of the Queensland Redistribution Commission was published in the Queensland Government Gazette (No. 111) on Wednesday 20 August 2008, pages 2250-2515.

To view these reports, visit the Electoral Commission of Queensland during normal business hours (9.00am - 5.00pm, Monday to Friday).

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Naming Electoral Districts 

Geographic place names provide the most useful basis for naming electoral districts where the selected name gives a clear identification of the district. If the Redistribution Commission is of the opinion that a geographic place name or existing district name is no longer suitable, they may give consideration to using the names of prominent Queenslanders of either gender or traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names.

In 2008, the Redistribution Commission adopted the policy of renaming a district where a significant change to electoral boundaries meant that an existing name was no longer relevant to a district. The Redistribution Commission considered that a district should not be named after a town or suburb unless the whole, or a substantial part, of a town or suburb was contained within the electoral district.

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