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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 11 November 1986 Following public consultations, the committee is required to forward its report to the minister for tabling in the Legislative Assembly. If the Assembly approves the report, the Administrator is required to declare the names and boundaries of the new divisions. The new divisions will come into effect for the purpose of the next ,general election. Following the Administrator's declaration, the Electoral Office must amend the rolls to reflect the new division boundaries and advise those electors affected. In the present case, the committee provided its report to me on 4 November 1986 after complying with the necessary statutory requirements. In the report, the Distribution Committee advises that its recommendations are predicated on the basis of 1 vote 1 value, the tolerance provisions are utilised to take account of projected growth patterns and the distributions are based on the retention of a 25-seat Assembly. The committee reports that, as at 11 September this year, there were 69 985 electors on the Territory roll giving a quota per electorate of 2799 electors with an upper and lower tolerance limit of 3359 and 2239 respectively. In the context of the Territory's continuing growth, it is worth noting that the figures for total electors and quota size in the Distribution Committee's last report in 1983 were 59 509 and 2380. This is an 18% jump in the number of people enrolled in the past 3 years. The committee sees the Territory electorate as being clearly divisible into several discrete urban communities with the balance of the electorate being widely spread over the Territory. The urban areas of Palmerston and Katherine are identified as areas expanding at a far greater rate than the broad spectrum of the electorate and thus as requiring consideration as discrete urban communities in addition to Darwin and Alice Springs. Members will note that the final recommendations of the committee are little changed from the proposals put on public display several months ago. 12 objections were received to the proposals but most of the recommended alterations were not supported by the committee. The exceptions were the incorporation of the Mataranka community into the Katherine division, the incorporation of 5 cattle stations to the west of the Stuart Highway into the Barkly division and the adjustment of the boundary between Araluen and Braitling divisions to conform to the boundary of the stock reserves. The committee notes the difficulties of simultaneously meeting the quota requirements for each division together with all of the other legislative criteria for a distribution. It therefore adopts solutions which it considers to be the best fit for present and projected requirements. The committee notes that, with the high mobility of the Territory population, electoral rolls become outdated very quickly and that the most effective way to bring rolls up to date is to conduct habitation or doorknock reviews. A full habitation review has not been conducted since 1983. However, the committee acknowledges that the rolls are probably not as badly out of date as might be expected. This is because of various elections that have been held since 1983 which have had a review effect on the rolls. Nevertheless, the committee recommends strongly that a habitation review should be conducted immediately prior to each future distribution. Mr Speaker, I would like to place on record the government's appreciation of the committee's work. In many instances, the committee was faced with the difficult task of reconciling opposing views within the required legislative framework. The committee approached this task with professional competence. The result is a well-balanced report which I commend to the Assembly. 788