The electoral districts of NSW will be reviewed in 2020 to ensure an even distribution of voters, in line with the Constitution Act 1902, Special Minister of State Don Harwin confirmed today.
“A review of electoral boundaries is required after every second State general election, to take into account movement of voters and new enrolments, and ensure that each electoral district has a balanced population for fair voting,” Mr Harwin said.
The last redistribution commenced in 2012 and concluded in September 2013, with the current electoral boundaries applying for the 2015 and 2019 State general elections.
The distribution process focuses on ensuring there is a similar number of electors in each district, with a 10 per cent difference in the average allowed.
Under the Electoral Act 2017, the redistribution process is conducted by the Electoral Districts Redistribution Panel, comprising the NSW Electoral Commissioner (Mr John Schmidt), NSW Surveyor-General (Ms Narelle Underwood) and a Chairperson appointed by the Governor. This Panel will be chaired by the Hon. Justice Arthur Emmett AO QC.
“Justice Emmett brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as Chairperson of the Panel, including his previous experience as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and a Judge of Appeal at the NSW Court of Appeal,” Mr Harwin said.
Under the Electoral Act, the independent Redistribution Panel is required to provide public notice of the redistribution, including invitations for suggestions and comments in writing on the redistribution.
The Act also provides for a public hearing into any submission or comment on its draft determination in accordance with legislative requirements.
The redistribution process is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2021.