The Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission has released its latest Draft Redistribution Order, redrawing the boundaries of the 47 electoral districts of the House of Assembly in the South Australian Parliament. The draft report consists of a draft order for the electoral redistribution and its reasons for proposing that the electoral boundaries be altered in the way shown in the 47 separate sketch plans that form the schedule to the draft order. Comments are sought by 6 July.
The federal Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has launched an inquiry into the AEC’s analysis of Fair Work Australia’s report on the Health Services Union. The committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions by 21 June 2012.
Writing in Australian Policy Online, the Audit’s Marian Sawer shows that Australia is slipping in relation to comparable countries in the representation of women in parliament.
Two bills to enable the Australian Electoral Commission to directly enrol voters using a variety of data sources have passed through the House of Representatives. The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Bill 2012, which will allow the AEC to initiate a first enrolment, has also passed through the Senate, and the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011, which will allow the AEC to update the information of voters who have changed address using the same data sources, is expected to be debated soon.
Writing in the Canberra Times in March, Rob Hoffman and the Audit’s Brian Costar argued that the legislation is a necessary step in enfranchising a large group of potential voters.
The Victorian Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee has commenced a very broad-ranging Inquiry into the Future of Victoria’s Electoral Administration. The inquiry will examine all aspects of electoral administration except local government.
A new book by the Audit’s Norm Kelly was launched by Phillip Green, Electoral Commissioner for the ACT, on 18 May. Directions in Australian Electoral Reform: Professionalism and Partisanship in Electoral Management assesses Australian electoral reforms of the past 30 years using personal interview data and parliamentary debates, to provide a picture of the reform process as well as the outcomes. The book also examines Australia¹s electoral administration, testing for professionalism, independence and integrity. It can be downloaded for free from ANU E-Press and can also be ordered in hard copy.