In Australia, electoral districts for the Australian House of Representatives are called divisions or more commonly referred to as electorates or seats. There are currently 151 single-member electorates for the Australian House of Representatives.
Section 24 of the Constitution of Australia requires that the total number of members of the Australian House of Representatives shall be "as nearly as practicable" twice as many as the number of members of the Australian Senate. The section also requires that electorates be apportioned among the states in proportion to their respective populations; provided that each original state has at least 5 members in the House of Representatives, a provision that has given Tasmania higher representation than its population would justify. There are also three electorates in the Australian Capital Territory and two in the Northern Territory.
In addition, Section 29 forbids electorate boundaries from crossing state lines, forcing populated areas along state and territory borders to be placed in different electorates, such as Albury in New South Wales being part of the electorate of Farrer, while nearby Wodonga in Victoria is part of the electorate of Indi. The same restriction does not apply to territories, and several current electoral divisions incorporate electors from multiple territories. This is currently the case for the Division of Bean (covering part of the ACT and the whole of Norfolk Island), the Division of Fenner (covering part of the ACT and the whole of Jervis Bay Territory), and the Division of Lingiari (covering part of the Northern Territory and the whole of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands).
The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 sets out further provisions.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) determines from time to time the number of members to which each state and territory is entitled and the boundaries of each electorate, in a process known in Australia as redistribution.
Within each state and territory, electoral boundaries are redrawn from time to time. This takes place at least once every 7 years, or when the state's entitlement to the number of members of the House of Representatives changes. Boundaries are drawn by a Redistribution Committee, and apportionment within a state is on the basis of the number of enrolled voters rather than total residents or "population".
The number of enrolled voters in each division cannot vary by more than 10% from the average across a state or territory, nor can the number of voters vary by more than 3.5% from the average projected enrolment 3.5 years into the future. However, due to various reasons, larger seats like Cowper (New South Wales) contain 80% more electors than that of smaller seats like Solomon (Northern Territory).
The last redistribution was completed in 2018, in time for the 2019 federal election. In this redistribution, the AEC added a seat to Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, and also determined that South Australia would lose a seat. The total number of seats in the House of Representatives therefore increased to 151. Seats in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia were also abolished, in order to make way for seats in similar locations but with different names.
The historical apportionment of seats for the various states is:
|New South Wales||26||27||27||28||28||47||46||45||43||51||50||50||49||48||47|
|Australian Capital Territory||2||2||2||3||2||2||2||3|
The Divisions of the House of Representatives are unusual in that many of them are not named after geographical features or numbered, as is the case in most other legislatures around the world. Most Divisions are named in honour of prominent historical people, such as former politicians (often Prime Ministers), explorers, artists and engineers.
In some cases where a Division is named after a geographical locality, the connection to that locality is sometimes tenuous. For instance, the Division of Werriwa, created in 1901, was named after the Aboriginal word for Lake George in the Canberra region. However, Werriwa has not contained Lake George for many decades, and has steadily moved some 200 km north to the south-western suburbs of Sydney over the past century.
The lists below show the Divisions as they exist at the 2019 Australian federal election. There were 47 Divisions in New South Wales, 38 in Victoria, 30 in Queensland, 16 in Western Australia, 10 in South Australia, 5 in Tasmania, 3 in the ACT and 2 in Northern Territory.
|Adelaide||1903||South Australia||City of Adelaide||Geographic location|
|Ballarat||1901||Victoria||City of Ballarat||Geographic location|
|Banks||1949||New South Wales||Joseph Banks||Botanist|
|Barker||1903||South Australia||Collet Barker||Explorer|
|Barton||1922||New South Wales||Edmund Barton||Prime Minister|
|Bean||2019||Australian Capital Territory||Charles Bean||War correspondent, historian|
|Bendigo||1901||Victoria||City of Bendigo||Geographic location|
|Bennelong||1949||New South Wales||Bennelong||Aboriginal elder|
|Berowra||1969||New South Wales||Suburb of Berowra||Geographic location|
|Blair||1998||Queensland||Harold Blair||Aboriginal singer|
|Blaxland||1949||New South Wales||Gregory Blaxland||Explorer|
|Bonner||2004||Queensland||Neville Bonner||Aboriginal politician|
|Boothby||1903||South Australia||William Boothby||Electoral commissioner|
|Braddon||1955||Tasmania||Edward Braddon||Premier of Tasmania|
|Bradfield||1949||New South Wales||John Bradfield||Designer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge|
|Brand||1984||Western Australia||David Brand||Premier of Western Australia|
|Brisbane||1901||Queensland||City of Brisbane||Geographic location|
|Bruce||1955||Victoria||Stanley Bruce||Prime Minister|
|Burt||2016||Western Australia||Archibald, Septimus and Francis Burt|
|Calare||1906||New South Wales||Aboriginal name for the Lachlan River||Geographic location|
|Calwell||1984||Victoria||Arthur Calwell||Leader of the opposition|
|Canberra||1974||Australian Capital Territory||City of Canberra||Geographic location|
|Canning||1949||Western Australia||Alfred Canning||Surveyor of the Rabbit-proof fence|
|Capricornia||1901||Queensland||Tropic of Capricorn||Geographic location|
|Casey||1969||Victoria||Richard Casey||Governor General|
|Chifley||1969||New South Wales||Ben Chifley||Prime Minister|
|Clark||2019||Tasmania||Andrew Inglis Clark||Co-author of the Australian Constitution|
|Cook||1969||New South Wales||James Cook||Explorer|
|Cooper||2019||Victoria||William Cooper||Aboriginal Activist|
|Corangamite||1901||Victoria||Lake Corangamite||Geographic location|
|Corio||1901||Victoria||Corio Bay||Geographic location|
|Cowan||1984||Western Australia||Edith Cowan||Politician and activist|
|Cowper||1901||New South Wales||Charles Cowper||NSW premier|
|Cunningham||1949||New South Wales||Allan Cunningham||Explorer|
|Curtin||1949||Western Australia||John Curtin||Prime Minister|
|Dawson||1949||Queensland||Anderson Dawson||Premier of Queensland|
|Deakin||1937||Victoria||Alfred Deakin||Prime Minister|
|Dickson||1992||Queensland||James Robert Dickson||Premier of Queensland|
|Dobell||1984||New South Wales||William Dobell||Painter|
|Dunkley||1984||Victoria||Louisa Margaret Dunkley||Labour unionist and women's rights campaigner|
|Durack||2010||Western Australia||Mary Durack||Author|
|Eden-Monaro||1901||New South Wales||Town of Eden and region of Monaro||Geographic location|
|Fadden||1977||Queensland||Arthur Fadden||Prime Minister|
|Fairfax||1984||Queensland||Ruth Fairfax||Founder of the Country Women's Association|
|Farrer||1949||New South Wales||William Farrer||Scientist|
|Fenner||2016||Australian Capital Territory||Frank Fenner||Scientist|
|Fisher||1949||Queensland||Andrew Fisher||Prime Minister|
|Flynn||2006||Queensland||John Flynn||Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service|
|Forde||1984||Queensland||Frank Forde||Prime Minister|
|Forrest||1922||Western Australia||John Forrest||Explorer, Premier of Western Australia|
|Fowler||1984||New South Wales||Lilian Fowler||Mayor of Newtown|
|Fraser||2019||Victoria||Malcolm Fraser||Prime Minister|
|Fremantle||1901||Western Australia||City of Fremantle||Geographic location|
|Gellibrand||1949||Victoria||Joseph Gellibrand||Attorney General of Tasmania|
|Gilmore||1984||New South Wales||Mary Gilmore||Poet and author|
|Gippsland||1901||Victoria||Region of Gippsland||Geographic location|
|Gorton||2004||Victoria||John Gorton||Prime Minister|
|Grayndler||1949||New South Wales||Edward Grayndler||Politician and unionist|
|Greenway||1984||New South Wales||Francis Greenway||Architect|
|Grey||1903||South Australia||George Grey||Governor of South Australia|
|Griffith||1934||Queensland||Samuel Griffith||Premier of Queensland, Chief Justice of Australia|
|Hasluck||2001||Western Australia||Paul and Alexandra Hasluck||Governor General and author|
|Herbert||1901||Queensland||Robert Herbert||Premier of Queensland|
|Higgins||1949||Victoria||H. B. Higgins||Politician and judge|
|Hindmarsh||1903||South Australia||John Hindmarsh||Governor of South Australia|
|Holt||1969||Victoria||Harold Holt||Prime Minister|
|Hotham||1969||Victoria||Charles Hotham||Governor of Victoria|
|Hughes||1955||New South Wales||Billy Hughes||Prime Minister|
|Hume||1901||New South Wales||Hamilton Hume||Explorer|
|Hunter||1901||New South Wales||John Hunter||NSW Governor|
|Indi||1901||Victoria||Aboriginal name for the Murray River||Geographic location|
|Isaacs||1969||Victoria||Isaac Isaacs||Governor General, Chief Justice of Australia|
|Jagajaga||1984||Victoria||Three Wurundjeri elders|
|Kingsford Smith||1949||New South Wales||Charles Kingsford Smith||Aviator|
|Kingston||1949||South Australia||Charles Kingston||Premier of South Australia|
|Kooyong||1901||Victoria||Suburb of Kooyong||Geographic location|
|La Trobe||1949||Victoria||Charles La Trobe||Governor of Victoria|
|Lalor||1949||Victoria||Peter Lalor||Leader of the Eureka Rebellion|
|Lilley||1913||Queensland||Charles Lilley||Premier and Chief Justice of Queensland|
|Lindsay||1984||New South Wales||Norman Lindsay||Artist|
|Lingiari||2001||Northern Territory||Vincent Lingiari||Aboriginal activist|
|Lyne||1949||New South Wales||William Lyne||NSW premier|
|Lyons||1984||Tasmania||Joseph and Enid Lyons||Prime Minister and politician|
|Macarthur||1949||New South Wales||John and Elizabeth Macarthur||Pioneers of early settlement|
|Mackellar||1949||New South Wales||Charles and Dorothea Mackellar||Politician and poet|
|Macquarie||1901||New South Wales||Lachlan Macquarie||Governor of NSW|
|Makin||1984||South Australia||Norman Makin||Politician|
|Mallee||1949||Victoria||Region of The Mallee||Geographic location|
|Maranoa||1901||Queensland||Maranoa River||Geographic location|
|Maribyrnong||1906||Victoria||Maribyrnong River||Geographic location|
|Mayo||1984||South Australia||Helen Mayo||Doctor|
|McEwen||1984||Victoria||John McEwen||Prime Minister|
|McPherson||1949||Queensland||McPherson Range||Geographic location|
|McMahon||2010||New South Wales||William McMahon||Prime Minister|
|Melbourne||1901||Victoria||City of Melbourne||Geographic location|
|Menzies||1984||Victoria||Robert Menzies||Prime Minister|
|Mitchell||1949||New South Wales||Thomas Mitchell||Explorer|
|Monash||2019||Victoria||John Monash||General and head of the armed forces|
|Moore||1949||Western Australia||George Fletcher Moore||Early WA settler|
|Moreton||1901||Queensland||Moreton Bay||Geographic location|
|New England||1901||New South Wales||Region of New England||Geographic location|
|Newcastle||1901||New South Wales||City of Newcastle||Geographic location|
|Nicholls||2019||Victoria||Douglas and Gladys Nicholls||Aboriginal activists|
|North Sydney||1901||New South Wales||Suburb of North Sydney||Geographic location|
|O'Connor||1980||Western Australia||C. Y. O'Connor||Engineer|
|Page||1984||New South Wales||Earle Page||Prime Minister|
|Parkes||1984||New South Wales||Henry Parkes||Governor of NSW|
|Parramatta||1901||New South Wales||Suburb of Parramatta||Geographic location|
|Paterson||1949, 1993||New South Wales||Banjo Paterson||Author and poet|
|Pearce||1989||Western Australia||George Pearce||Politician|
|Perth||1901||Western Australia||City of Perth||Geographic location|
|Reid||1922||New South Wales||George Reid||Prime Minister|
|Richmond||1901||New South Wales||Richmond River||Geographic location|
|Riverina||1901, 1993||New South Wales||Region of The Riverina||Geographic location|
|Robertson||1901||New South Wales||John Robertson||Premier of NSW|
|Ryan||1949||Queensland||T. J. Ryan||Premier of Queensland|
|Scullin||1968||Victoria||James Scullin||Prime Minister|
|Shortland||1949||New South Wales||John Shortland||Explorer|
|Solomon||2000||Northern Territory||Vaiben Louis Solomon||Premier of South Australia|
|Spence||2019||South Australia||Catherine Helen Spence||Politician, author|
|Stirling||1955||Western Australia||James Stirling||Governor of Western Australia|
|Sturt||1949||South Australia||Charles Sturt||Explorer|
|Swan||1901||Western Australia||Swan River||Geographic location|
|Sydney||1968||New South Wales||City of Sydney||Geographic location|
|Tangney||1974||Western Australia||Dorothy Tangney||Politician|
|Warringah||1922||New South Wales||Warringah Council||Geographic location|
|Wannon||1901||Victoria||Wannon River||Geographic location|
|Watson||1992||New South Wales||Chris Watson||Prime Minister|
|Wentworth||1901||New South Wales||William Wentworth||Explorer|
|Werriwa||1901||New South Wales||Aboriginal name for Lake George||Geographic location|
|Whitlam||2016||New South Wales||Gough Whitlam||Prime Minister|
|Wide Bay||1901||Queensland||Region of Wide Bay–Burnett||Geographic location|
|Wills||1949||Victoria||William John Wills||Explorer|
These Australian Divisions no longer exist:
|Angas (I)||1903||1934||SA||George Fife Angas||Businessman and banker|
|Australian Capital Territory||1949||1974||ACT||Australian Capital Territory||Geographic location|
|Balaclava||1901||1984||VIC||Suburb of Balaclava||Geographic location|
|Barrier||1901||1922||NSW||Barrier Ranges||Geographic location|
|Batman||1906||2019||VIC||John Batman||Founder of Melbourne|
|Bonython||1955||2004||SA||John Langdon Bonython||Editor and newspaper proprietor|
|Bourke||1901||1949||VIC||Richard Bourke||Governor of NSW|
|Burke (I)||1949||1955||VIC||Robert O'Hara Burke||Explorer|
|Canobolas||1901||1906||NSW||Mount Canobolas||Geographic location|
|Cook (I)||1906||1955||NSW||James Cook||Explorer|
|Coolgardie||1901||1913||WA||Town of Coolgardie||Geographic location|
|Corinella (I)||1901||1906||VIC||Corinella region||Geographic location|
|Dalley||1901||1969||NSW||William Bede Dalley||Politician and barrister|
|Darebin||1949||1969||VIC||Darebin Creek||Geographic location|
|Darling||1901||1977||NSW||Darling River||Geographic location|
|Darling Downs||1901||1984||QLD||Darling Downs||Geographic location|
|Denison||1903||2019||TAS||William Denison||Governor of Van Diemen's Land and NSW|
|Diamond Valley||1969||1984||VIC||Diamond Creek||Geographic location|
|Dundas||1977||1993||NSW||Henry Dundas||Scottish politician and aristocrat|
|East Sydney||1901||1969||NSW||East Sydney||Geographic location|
|Echuca||1901||1937||VIC||Town of Echuca||Geographic location|
|Fawkner||1906||1969||VIC||John Pascoe Fawkner||Pioneer|
|Fraser (I)||1974||2016||ACT||Jim Fraser||Politician|
|Grampians||1901||1922||VIC||Grampians Ranges||Geographic location|
|Gwydir||1901||2007||NSW||Gwydir River||Geographic location|
|Higinbotham||1949||1969||VIC||George Higinbotham||Chief Justice of Victoria|
|Hoddle||1949||1955||VIC||Robert Hoddle||Surveyor, artist|
|Illawarra||1901||1922||NSW||Region of Illawarra||Geographic location|
|Isaacs (I)||1949||1969||VIC||Isaac Isaacs||Governor General, Chief Justice of Australia|
|Kalgoorlie||1901||2010||WA||City of Kalgoorlie||Geographic location|
|Lang||1901||1977||NSW||John Dunmore Lang||Politician and activist|
|Lawson||1949||1969||NSW||Henry Lawson||Writer and poet|
|Lowe||1949||2010||NSW||Robert Lowe||British statesman|
|Martin||1922||1955||NSW||James Martin||Premier of NSW, Chief Justice of NSW|
|Melbourne Ports||2001||2019||VIC||Suburb of Port Melbourne||Geographic location|
|Mernda||1901||1913||VIC||Town of Mernda||Geographic location|
|Moira||1901||1906||VIC||Shire of Moira||Geographic location|
|Murray||1949||2019||VIC||Murray River||Geographic location|
|Namadgi||1996||1998||ACT||Namadgi National Park||Geographic location|
|Nepean||1906||1922||NSW||Evan Nepean||British politician|
|Northern Melbourne||1901||1906||VIC||North Melbourne||Geographic location|
|Northern Territory||1922||2001||NT||Northern Territory||Geographic location|
|Oxley (I)||1901||1934||QLD||John Oxley||Explorer|
|Parkes (I)||1901||1969||NSW||Henry Parkes||Premier of NSW|
|Phillip||1949||1993||NSW||Arthur Phillip||Governor of NSW|
|Port Adelaide||1949||2019||SA||Suburb of Port Adelaide||Geographic location|
|Prospect||1969||2010||NSW||Prospect Reservoir||Geographic location|
|Riverina-Darling||1984||1993||NSW||Riverina region||Geographic location|
|Scullin (I)||1955||1969||VIC||James Scullin||Prime Minister|
|South Australia||1901||1903||SA||South Australia||Geographic location|
|South Sydney||1901||1934||NSW||Southern Sydney||Geographic location|
|Southern Melbourne||1901||1906||VIC||South Melbourne||Geographic location|
|St George||1949||1993||NSW||St George area||Geographic location|
|Wakefield||1903||2019||SA||Edward Gibbon Wakefield||Pioneer|
|Watson (I)||1934||1969||NSW||Chris Watson||Prime Minister|
|West Sydney||1901||1969||NSW||Area of Western Sydney||Geographic location|
|Wilmot||1903||1984||TAS||Sir John Eardley-Wilmot||Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land|
|Wimmera||1901||1977||VIC||Wimmera region||Geographic location|
|Yarra||1901||1969||VIC||Yarra River||Geographic location|
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