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Wednesday, 20 May 1970

Mr Cohen (ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for the the Interior, upon notice:

(1)   ls it a fact that the voting population of the Australian Capital Territory will soon approximate the quota necessary for two seats in the House of Representatives: if so, will- he consider the division of the present electorate into two seats prior to the next general election.

(2)   If consideration is given to the creation of another seat, will he, in view of the unique position that the late Mr Jim Fraser held in the hearts of the people of Canberra consider naming the seat 'Fraser'.

Mr Nixon (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) (Minister for the Interior) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Section 10 of the Representation Act 1905- 1964 specifies the procedure to be followed in ascertaining the quota for the purpose of determining the number of Members of the House of Representatives to be chosen in the several States but this Section does not apply to the Territories. Section 122 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act provides, in part, that the Parliament may allow the representation for any Territory in either House of the Parliament to the extent and on the terms which it thinks fit. The average enrolment for the Electoral Divisions of the States was 53,494 as at April 1970, while the enrolment for the Australian Capital Territory at that time was 64,780. The Government has not yet formally considered the division of the Australian Capital Territory into two electorates.

(2)   The suggestion that any additional electorate for the Australian Capital Territory be named Fraser' will be carefully considered if an additional electorate is created.

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