The process of drawing and adjusting electoral boundaries in Australia is called a ‘redistribution’, and at the federal level is governed by Part IV of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA). Currently, five redistributions—for Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia (SA), Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)—are in progress (the Tasmanian redistribution should be completed on 14 November 2017). While this quick guide focuses on federal redistributions, it is worth noting that redistributions also occur within the states and territories for state-level electorates using separate processes.
The process of a federal redistribution is complex and involves a number of steps. Some of the steps rely on objective information that is produced outside the redistribution process, and some of the steps have the capacity for taking into account the opinions of those who are affected by redistribution decisions. Importantly, the process is undertaken independently of the Government and the Parliament.