Essential information about the Western Australian federal redistribution

Updated: 23 September 2020

Why is Western Australia undergoing a redistribution?

Western Australia is undergoing a redistribution because the number of members of the House of Representatives it is entitled to has decreased from 16 to 15 as a result of a determination made by the Electoral Commissioner on Friday 3 July 2020.

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 Wednesday 15 July 2020.

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

Western Australia is now entitled to 15 federal electoral divisions, which is a decrease of one from 16.

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 Western Australia, who is ultimately responsible for determining the federal electoral divisions in Western 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 Wednesday 15 July 2020 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 Western Australia  at the projection time would be between minus 3.5 per cent and plus 3.5 per cent of the projected enrolment quota of 112,172.
    • The number of electors enrolled in each federal electoral division in WA must therefore be between 100,955 and 123,389.
  • as far as practicable, the projected number of electors enrolled in each federal electoral division in WA at the projection time of Sunday 2 February 2025 would be between minus 3.5 per cent and plus 3.5 per cent of the projected enrolment quota of 116,838.
    • As far as practicable, the number of electors projected to be enrolled in each federal electoral division in Victoria at the projection time Sunday 2 February would be between 112,749 and 120,927.

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.

Do all WA federal electoral divisions meet the requirement?

No. On the boundaries in place on Wednesday 15 July 2020, 11 of WA’s 16 federal electoral divisions do not meet this requirement. 


Electoral division

Enrolment as at Wednesday 15 July 2020

Projected enrolment at Sunday 2 February 2025

Is the requirement met?

Brand

110,508

119,561

Yes

Burt

109,053

116,511

Yes

Canning

110,091

117,835

Yes

Cowan

100,543

104,250

No 

  • Current enrolment for the Division of Cowan is more than 10 per cent under the current enroment quota
  • Projected enrolment for the Division of Cowan is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Curtin

101,848

105,373

No – Projected enrolment for the Division of Curtin is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Durack

98,382

95,524

No

  • Current enrolment for the Division of Durack is more than 10 per cent under the current enroment quota
  • Projected enrolment for the Division of Durack is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Forrest

107,326

113,971

Yes

Fremantle

109,269

115,628

Yes

Hasluck

100,732

103,715

No

  • Current enrolment for the Division of Hasluck is more than 10 per cent under the current enroment quota
  • Projected enrolment for the Division of Hasluck is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Moore

102,441

104,031

No – Projected enrolment for the Division of Moore is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

O'Connor

101,985

101,703

No – Projected enrolment for the Division of O'Connor is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Pearce

125,488

142,491

No

  • Current enrolment for the Division of Pearce is more than 10 per cent over the current enrolment quota
  • Projected enrolment for the Division of Pearce is more than 3.5 per cent over the projected enrolment quota

Perth

104,026

106,518

No – Projected enrolment for the Division of Perth is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Stirling

103,123

104,440

No – Projected enrolment for the Division of Stirling is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Swan

102,932

105,211

No – Projected enrolment for the Division of Swan is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

Tangney

94,827

95,804

No

  • Current enrolment for the Division of Tangney is more than 10 per cent under the current enroment quota
  • Projected enrolment for the Division of Tangney is more than 3.5 per cent under the projected enrolment quota

What is the result of requirement not being met?

Abolishing an electoral division in WA will require some consequential changes to other electoral division boundaries as reducing the number of electoral divisions is not simply a case of combining two electoral divisions into one as doing so will result in electoral divisions which do not meet the numerical requirements.

Because the requirement to be within the specified range for both enrolment as at Wednesday 15 July 2020 and projected enrolment as at Sunday 2 February 2025 is not met by all 16 of WA's federal electoral divisions, the boundaries of these electoral divisions will need to change.

Changes will be made to some or all of the boundaries of WA's federal electoral divisions. Changes may be made to those federal electoral divisions which meet the requirement as a consequence of making changes to the boundaries of those federal electoral divisions which do not meet the requirement. This is to ensure that all of WA's federal electoral divisions meet the requirement.

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 Western Australia, who is ultimately responsible for determining the names of the federal electoral divisions in Western Australia.

Information about the names of current federal electoral divisions in Western 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 Western Australia  or the augmented Electoral Commission for Western Australia  to assist with their decision making process.

The extent to which the names of Western 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?

Is the electoral division named for a geographical feature?

Is the electoral division named for an aboriginal person or word?

Brand

Yes

No

No

No

No

Burt

Yes

No

No

No

No

Canning

Yes

No

No

No

No

Cowan

Yes

No

No

No

No

Curtin

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Durack

Yes

No

No

No

No

Forrest

Yes

No

No

No

No

Fremantle

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Hasluck

Yes

No

No

No

No

Moore

Yes

No

No

No

No

O’Connor

Yes

No

No

No

No

Pearce

Yes

No

No

No

No

Perth

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Stirling

Yes

No

No

No

No

Swan

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Tangney

Yes

No

No

No

No

Information about current electoral division names

Brand

Curtin

Hasluck

Perth

Burt

Durack

Moore

Stirling

Canning

Forrest

O’Connor

Swan

Cowan

Fremantle

Pearce

Tangney

Brand

Origins of name

The Division of Brand is named for Sir David Brand KCMG, 1912–79. Brand was Premier of Western Australia (1959–71).

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 31 August 1984 and was first represented in 1984.

More information

Biographical information about Sir David Brand from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Burt

Origins of name

The Division of Burt is named for succeeding generations of the Burt family for their signifcant contributions to the justice system and for their wider contributions to public service, specifically:

  • Sir Archibald Paull Burt KT, 1810–79, who was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1861,
  • Septimus Burt, 1847–1919, whose public roles included that of Attorney-General of the colony of Western Australia (1890–97) at the time of colonial self-government, and
  • The Honourable Sir Francis Theodore Page Burt AC KCMG QC, 1918–2004, who served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Chief Justice of Western Australia, Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia and Governor of Western Australia (1990–93).

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 19 January 2016 and was first represented in 2016.

More information

Biographical information about Sir Archibald Paull Burt and Septimus Burt from the Australian Dictionary of Biography and about the Honourable Sir Francis Theodore Page Burt from Government House Western Australia.

Canning

Origins of name

The Division of Canning is named for Alfred Wernam Canning, 1860–1936. Canning was a surveyor who surveyed routes for a rabbit-proof fence from Starvation Harbour to Cape Keraudren and stockroutes to bring cattle from the Kimberley district to feed those working the Western Australian goldfields.

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 Alfred Wernam Canning from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Cowan

Origins of name

The Division of Cowan is named for Edith Dircksey Cowan OBE, 1861–1932. Cowan was the first woman elected to any Parliament in Australia, state or Commonwealth, when she was elected in 1921 as the Member for West Perth in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 31 August 1984 and was first represented in 1984.

More information

Biographical information about Edith Dircksey Cowan from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Curtin

Origins of name

The Division of Curtin is named for John Joseph Ambrose Curtin, 1885–1945. Curtin was Prime Minister of Australia (1941–45) and a Member of the House of Representatives (1928–31 and 1934–45).

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 John Joseph Ambrose Curtin from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Durack

Origins of name

The Division of Durack is named for succeeding generations of the Durack family who were pioneers and developers of the Kimberley region, including:

  • Patrick Durack, 1834–98, who took up land on the Ord River in the East Kimberley in 1882,
  • W J Durack who worked as a doctor in the Marble Bar and Murchinson district and was the first to diagnose leprosy in the Aboriginal people of this area,
  • Michael Patrick Durack, 1865–1950, who promoted the development of the northern parts of Western Australia,
  • Dame Mary Gertrude Durack DBE AC, 1913–94, the author and historian who wrote about the outback, Australian settlers, the history of missionaries in Western Australia and her family's struggles and achievements as pioneers in the Kimberley region,
  • Elizabeth Durack OBE, 1915–2000, the artist whose works capture remote parts of north and central Western Australia,
  • Kimberley Michael Durack, 1917–1968, who established the Ord River Research Station, which led to irrigated farming around Kununurra, and
  • Peter Drew Durack, 1926–2008, who was a Senator for Western Australia (1971–1993) and introduced the Freedom of Information Act.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 18 December 2008 and was first represented in 2010.

More information

Biographical information about members of the Durack family is available from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Forrest

Origins of name

The Division of Forrest is named for Sir John Forrest, 1847–1918. Forrest was an active member of the Constitutional Conventions that led to the Commonwealth of Australia and a member of the House of Representatives (1901–18).

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 13 September 1922 and was first represented in 1922.

More information

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

Fremantle

Origins of name

The Division of Fremantle is named after the City of Fremantle. The city was named after Captain Charles Howe Fremantle who arrived at the Swan River Colony on 2 May 1829, hoisted the British flag on the South Head, and took formal possession in the name of His Majesty King George IV, of 'all that part of New Holland which is not included within the territory of New South Wales'.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 5 December 1900 and was first represented in 1901.

More information

Information about the City of Fremantle can be found on the Landgate website.

Hasluck

Origins of name

In recognition of their service to Australia, the electoral division is jointly named in honour of:

  • Rt Hon Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck KG GCMG GCVO, 1905–93. Hasluck was a diplomat, Member of the House of Representatives (1949–69) and a Governor-General of Australia (1969–74), and
  • Dame Alexandra Margaret Martin Hasluck AD, 1908–93, a noted author.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 20 November 2000 and was first represented in 2001.

More information

Biographical information about the Rt Hon Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck and Dame Alexandra Margaret Martin Hasluck from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Moore

Origins of name

The Division of Moore is named for George Fletcher Moore, 1798–1886. Throughout the 1830s Moore explored a number of areas in Western Australia and was appointed Advocate-General of the Colony of Western Australia in 1834.

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 George Fletcher Moore from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

O'Connor

Origins of name

The Division of O'Connor is named for Charles Yelverton O'Connor, 1843–1902. In 1891, O'Connor became Western Australia's engineer-in-chief and was responsible for designing Fremantle Harbour and the pipeline which supplies Kalgoorlie and other goldfields with water.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 28 February 1980 and was first represented in 1980.

More information

Biographical information about Charles Yelverton O'Connor from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Pearce

Origins of name

The Division of Pearce is named for Sir George Foster Pearce, 1870–1952. Pearce was a Senator for Western Australia (1901–38) and served as Acting Prime Minister for seven months in 1916.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 31 March 1989 and was first represented in 1990.

More information

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

Perth

Origins of name

The Division of Perth is named after the City of Perth. Under instructions from the Secretary for the Colonies, Sir George Murray, the new town and future seat of government in the Colony of Western Australia was called Perth. Murray was a Perthsire man and represented his birthpace in the House of Commons.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 5 December 1900 and was first represented in 1901.

More information

Information about the City of Perth can be found on the Landgate website.  

Stirling

Origins of name

The Division of Stirling is named for Sir James Stirling RN, 1791–1865. Stirling was the first Governor of the Colony of Western Australia (1828–39) and took a leading role in exploring the coastal districts near the Swan, Murray, Collie, Preston, Blackwood and Vasse Rivers.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 10 August 1955 and was first represented in 1955.

More information

Biographical information about Sir James Stirling from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Swan

Origins of name

The Division of Swan is named after the Swan River. The river was named in 1697 by the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh after the famous black swans of the area.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 5 December 1900 and was first represented in 1901.

Tangney

Origins of name

The Division of Tangney is named in honour of Dame Dorothy Margaret Tangney DBE, 1907–85. As a Senator for Western Australia (1943–68), Tangney was the first woman member of the Senate.

Creation of electoral division

The first electoral division of this name was created on 19 April 1974 and was first represented in 1974.

More information

Biographical information about Dame Dorothy Margaret Tangney 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 2 August 2021.

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:

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