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House of Representatives (Northern Territory Representation) Bill 2004

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2002-2003-2004

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (NORTHERN TERRITORY REPRESENTATION) BILL 2004

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Special Minister of State,

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz)

 

 



HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (NORTHERN TERRITORY REPRESENTATION) BILL 2004

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for two members of the House of Representatives to be elected at the next federal election to represent the Northern Territory, and thereby maintain the Northern Territory’s current level of representation. 

 

The Bill gives effect to the Government’s response to a recommendation of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters relating to the Northern Territory’s representation in the House of Representatives in its report entitled: Territory Representation (Report of the Inquiry into Increasing the Minimum Representation for the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory in the House of Representatives). 

 

The recommendation relates to the determination made under section 48 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) by the Electoral Commissioner on 19 February 2003 on the number of members of the House of Representatives to be chosen by the States and Territories at a general election.  As part of that determination, the Electoral Commissioner determined that one member would be chosen for the Northern Territory at the next election.  This would reduce the Northern Territory’s current representation of two members. 

 

The Bill provides for the Electoral Commissioner’s determination to have effect as if it specified two members are to be chosen to represent the Northern Territory in the House of Representatives at the next election.  Determination of the number of members to be returned after that election will be subject to the procedures outlined in the Electoral Act .

 

Financial impact statement

 

The financial impact of the Bill is not significant.  The cost of an additional member of the House of Representatives to represent the Northern Territory is estimated at approximately $0.8 million per annum over the next four years.  This amount includes salary, entitlements, staff and associated costs.

 

The Australian Electoral Commission will be required to maintain an office in the new Division in the Northern Territory, at an estimated cost of $0.2 million per annum, including three staff and administrative costs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (NORTHERN TERRITORY REPRESENTATION) BILL 2004

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

1.              Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

2.              This clause sets out the commencement provisions for the Bill.  Sections 1 and 2 will commence on the day the Bill receives Royal Assent.  Section 3 will commence seven days after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Northern Territory to elect 2 members of the House of Representatives in the next election

 

3.              Subclause 3(1) relates to the determination made by the Electoral Commissioner under section 48 of the Electoral Act on 19 February 2003 in relation to the number of members of the House of Representatives to be chosen in the Northern Territory at the next federal election.  Subclause 3(1) specifies that the Electoral Commissioner’s determination has effect, from commencement of the subclause, as if it specified two as the number of members of the House of Representatives to be chosen in the Northern Territory at the next general election.  The determination originally provided for one member to be chosen.

 

4.       The determination, as affected by this clause, will remain in place until a new determination is made by the Electoral Commissioner in accordance with section 48 of the Electoral Act following the next federal election.

 

5.              Subclause 3(2) of the Bill indicates that, for the purposes of section 86 of the Electoral Act, two new Divisions are taken to have been created on commencement of the subclause.  This subclause serves two purposes.  Firstly, it ensures the legality of all enrolment transactions that have taken place in the Northern Territory since the determination was made on 19 February 2003. 



6.              Secondly, it will enable the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to create new rolls for the two Northern Territory Divisions on the day on which the clause commences.  The new rolls will be created using the same mechanism used after the completion of a redistribution.  Elector details will be removed from the roll for the Division of the Northern Territory and placed on the rolls for the Divisions of Lingiari and Solomon.  The electors will then be notified by the AEC of the change either in writing or by advertisements placed in newspapers.