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Annual Report 2010-2011 Northern Territory Electoral Commission



Annual Report 2010-2011 Northern Territory Electoral Commission

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Tabled paper 1602


Tabled Papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




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11 Following the commencement of the redistribution in February 2011, the Redistribution Committee completed the following: Invited suggestions and comments. A total of 10 submissions were received. After the publication of the suggestions, four comments were received Considered all suggestions and comments and, using projected enrolment data, prepared proposed divisions and names in accordance with s143 of the Act Gazetted and advertised the proposal on 31 May 2011 and circulated maps and the associated report. Objections to the proposal were invited with a closing date of 30 June 2011. The NTEC expected to continue to provide administrative and support staff to the Augmented Committee until release of the final report and the Gazettal of the boundaries to apply at the next LA general election. 2010-11 Representation reviews by councils Local government in the NT comprises five municipal and 10 shire councils (excluding one under administration). Two municipal and nine shire councils have wards, leaving three municipal and one shire council with a no-ward structure. Residents of the three towns of Alyangula, Nhulunbuy and Yulara, which are privately incorporated bodies, persons resident in the Darwin Waterfront area and in the unincorporated land in the Top End are not represented by local government. Amongst other things, imbalances in elector numbers between wards develop over time and representation models need to be reviewed so that appropriate representation is provided by the democratic system. Under the 2008 Local Government Act (LGA) and Local Government (Electoral) Regulations (LGER), a council must: Review its structure and representation once in every four year term [LGA s23(2)] and [LGER r63] Prepare a plan for the councils composition, taking into account population change, geography and community interests; community feedback may be sought before finalising the plan Consult with the NT Electoral Commission (NTEC) during the process [LGER r63 (4)] Complete the review by 31 March 2011, 12 months before the next general election [LGER r63 (5)]. Though the NTEC must be consulted in relation to the reviews, no detail as to the form of that consultation has been included in the legislation. No specific review regime is prescribed in the legislation and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Regional Services (DHLGRS) issued guidelines for the purposes of the current reviews. The NTEC tried to be as proactive as possible in its liaison with councils. Between June 2010 and March 2011, the NTEC supplied all councils with enrolment data by locality and ward (where appropriate) as baseline information to support their reviews and followed up with support in the interpretation of that data and responded to enquiries of a general nature. Enrolment updates were provided at quarterly intervals. Detailed enrolment information down to the street /locality level was supplied on request to three councils and advice on roll and boundary information for specific areas was provided to a number of the remote shire councils. The NTEC also provided councils with general information about the review process and timetable. A number of councils provided draft review reports as part of their on-going consultation with the NTEC and comments were provided in accordance with the ECs limited role as prescribed in the legislation. At the conclusion of the reviews the NTEC was provided with the final council reports with the exception of one council. Three other councils did not submit reports. The NTEC checked the reports for the accuracy of the enrolment information contained and a certificate was provided to the council that confirmed the accuracy of data and detailed the extent and nature of consultation undertaken with the NTEC. The certificate was provided for inclusion by council in their return to DHLGRS and, if required, to the Minister.