QLD redistribution – the numbers


Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 4.44.44 pmQueensland is about to dive into a redistribution of state electorates, to update the existing electoral map which was created in the lead up to the 2009 election.

Queensland currently has 89 electorates, but will be adding four additional seats for the next election, thanks to legislation passed earlier this year. For this reason, most existing electorates are above the required average for the new electoral map.

The electorates are required to be roughly in line with the average enrolment as of 2016, and the average projected enrolment as of 2022. The following table shows the quotas in each region of the state.

SeatSeats2016 quotas2022 quotas
Brisbane North1616.5616.42
Brisbane South2020.1219.53
Central QLD1111.3211.09
Gold Coast1011.0011.31
North QLD1111.4211.38
SE QLD1010.8411.60
Sunshine Coast88.808.94
Western QLD32.942.73

It appears that three of the four new seats will be added in the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, and in those parts of South-East Queensland outside of Brisbane (such as Ipswich, which is growing fast).

Below the fold I’ve posted a map and run through the likely impact on each region.

There is almost a whole seat’s worth of extra enrolment on the Sunshine Coast, so they should gain one of the four new seats. The Gold Coast has enough population to add an eleventh seat, and is projected to grow by a third of a seat’s population by 2022 – so expect the current ten seats to shrink to create an eleventh seat, with some voters put into a seat straddling with another region.

The remainder of south-eastern Queensland (excluding Brisbane) is also growing fast – these ten seats are already 0.84 quotas above the average, and are projected to grow another 0.76 quotas over the next six years. A large part of this growth is in the Ipswich area. Some of this growth should be absorbed by southern Brisbane, which is projected to drop in quotas by 2022.

The location of the last seat less clear. North Queensland is about 40% of a quota above average, but central Queensland is not doing so well, and Western Queensland’s population, despite the allowance for large electorates, is falling back. So expect to see a bunch of seats in these regions shift north to absorb the surplus population in the north.

Northern Brisbane is also approximately half a quota ahead of where it should be. It seems likely a new seat will be added in this region, with knock-on effects up the coast.

The first round of submissions close next Monday – at which point we should expect to see submissions from Labor, the LNP and others. It seems likely this process will take the rest of this year.

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  1. It will be interesting to see where everybody else who makes submissions to the Redistribution proposes their new Districts.
    My 4 were; 1 District on the Sunshine Coast – half Nicklin, half Glass House
    Eastern Ipswich – part Bundamba, part Inala, part Lockyer
    Beenleigh – mostly Waterford with parts of Albert and Coomera
    Gold Coast – many Districts with the M1 as its western boundary, the Gold Coast Hwy as its northern boundary (the rest is a bit more involved, but it does go as far south as Carrara.
    Once all the proposals are published, everyone will get a chance to read them all and submit comments on the proposals.
    They should all make for interesting reading.

  2. I thought that springborg wanted all the new seats to be rural and regional. So that there was more rural representation in Government. Also any idea about the fixed four year terms what year will the next election be and what is the fixed date likely to be.

  3. dave – the next Qld state election is whenever Palaszczuk decides it to be. Thereafter, the fixed election date will be the last Saturday in October.

    I’m not sure what the transitional provision is, but with any luck AP will simply call the final movable-term election for October 28th, 2017 and we can go forwards from there.

  4. If parliament did not expand then regional seats would be abolished. Borg wanred extra seats to prevent abolishing rural seats.

  5. JW, yes your four seats seem roughly in line with what I proposed. My new seat is Caboolture based, but it seems your new seat would be my proposed Glass House, so it’s just a difference of names.

    I looked at whether a new seat might be needed in northern Queensland, but there doesn’t seem any need for it. Rural Qld has some growth areas, but also some areas of expected decline, so it seems to me to be fairly self-adjusting within the existing seats.

  6. Maybe a solution to this perpetual problem of city vs country representation woulds be to determine numbers of MP’s on basis of Km square but give them voting rights on the basis of population at time of election. I live in the largest by population state electorate according to my local MLA (Murrumba) but Chris Whiting can visit every school in electorate in a single day. IN the case of Robbie Katter it is a year’s exercise to visit every school. Increasing Robbie’s electorate so that he will take a year and a half to visit every school is not a democratic solution

    I think both Chris Whiting(ALP Murrumba) and Robbie Katter (KAP Mount Isa) are both hard working MP’s.

  7. Amusingly (for an urbanist greenie type) I’m not actually too averse to a bit of malapportionment in favour of large electorates. Tyranny of distance and all that.
    Indeed we already do that now; if a district is over 100,000 sq km then 2% of its area counts as people.
    I do think there’s a bit of a perverse incentive situation that’s possible given there’s a hard cutoff, and I would like to see some sort of sliding scale put in place to ameliorate that.

    Not that I’ll be making a submission, but does anyone have strong opinions about how to redistrict Indooroopilly, Mt Coot-tha and Ashgrove? I find that Ashgrove must spread significantly northward, which pulls MtC north, but then there’s no good dividing line.

  8. Uniting Bardon in Mt Coot-tha, by straightening along Ithaca Creek, is a neat way to adjust the boundary with Ashgrove.

  9. You mean around Fletcher Parade? Yep, first thing I did. It’s not enough to balance out Ashgrove gaining the rest of Mitchelton suburb nor MtC giving away Toowong southwest of Croydon St and Milton Rd.

    It’s doable, of course, but it’s incredibly ugly. What I’ve just done is give the Gap to Mount Coot-tha, and then a line running roughly from St Johns Wood, along Ithaca Ck, down Jubilee Tce, Belmont Cr, and eventually Latrobe Tce…

    I’ll try to publish up my map at some point.

  10. I put parts of Alderley and Keperra in Ashgrove, which can then lose its share of Bardon around Fletcher Parade to use to creek as the boundary. I’ve put a small part of Toowong in Indooroopilly, but I haven’t needed to change any of these Districts too much.

  11. I’m not going to get my draft done in time for the submission deadline. So my “proposal” is instead now just a mock redistribution.

    I’ve completed the entire Sunshine Coast/Brisbane/Gold Coast region. My four new seats are, from north to south: Coolum, Caboolture, Springfield and Carrara.

    The rest of the seats are pretty recognisable to what they were previously. Though the creation of Caboolture forces Morayfield to be renamed Burpengary.

    I’ll post a link here when I’m done.

  12. David, you should still submit what you have. Even suggestions covering only part of the state can be very valuable.

    Since most of the big change is expected to occur in the south-east, your submission would cover most of the important seats anyway.

  13. Suggestions have now been published on the ECQ website.

    The LNP proposal, based on what I can ascertain from their maps, have abolished Dalrymple, expanding Mount Isa far to the east. They include just four large districts. Astonishingly to me, they have included my “pie in the sky” proposal for an Innisfail-Atherton seat (Palmerston – they even included my name!) and pushed Mulgrave into the Cairns urban area. There is a new seat on the outskirts of the Toowoomba area called Ramsay.

    I’m unable to comment on the ALP proposal at the moment, however they did not include maps which is a little curious to me.

  14. David – that’s a rather nice proposal.

    Jeff – having now read your submission, the idea of flat-out culling Indooroopilly is beginning to grow on me.
    Not so much the idea of removing Samford and surrounds from Ferny Grove – as a local of that electorate, I can tell you the commute patterns very much support the current combination. Similarly, Eatons Hill and Albany Creek ought to be together if possible.

    Something that people might find interesting that I just found: school catchments. http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/maps/edmap/

  15. The Liberals have learnt nothing from the thumping they have just got in Federal Election. The only seat they want to abolish is Dalrymple remarkably held by Katter Party member Shane Knuth.

    They have just gone to an election wanting to “clean out” the Senate and now have the cleanest Senate since 1972. Neither ALP nor Coalition will be able to be sure of Senate approval on any issue. On Social Issues the left are in a decided minority and as it stands at the moment on Economic issues the Senate is on a knife edge between ALP irresponsibility and Liberal Greed based economics.

    Wiping out seats in NQ will not wipe out voters. Dalrymple Voters who have been represented by Shane Knith will rebel against the level of representation they will get from Liberal MP’s. Country voters will not tolerate Wyatt Roy or Wayne Swan level representation. IF in doubt about this ask old country Part MP’s such as VInce LEster or thoise that learnt the hard way a month ago.

    THe LNP are like the Fabian Society Wolves in Sheep’s clothing.

    ANdrew Jackson

  16. Though there’s no doubt a large degree of self interest in the LNP proposal, there’s a reasonable case for turning Mount Isa into an east-west elongated running all the way to Charters Towers. The Labor submission makes a similar case, citing Robbie Katter himself in arguing that the present Mt Isa is unworkable. A submission from the Local Government Association of Queensland also argues for east-west rural seats. A Tablelands based seat created to replace Dalrymple would presumably still be very winnable for the Katter party. (It’s a shame there’s was no submission from KAP. Maybe in the next round?)

    Less convincing is the LNP’s case for a new seat in the Darling Downs region. Bizarrely it’s this seat and not the Tablelands one which they say is the “replacement” for Dalrymple. I don’t see the numbers, and particularly not the growth figures, justifying a new seat here.

  17. I understand the logic in making Mount Isa more compact. If there hadn’t been an increase in the number of seats, I’d have looked at abolishing Dalrymple and putting Charters Towers with Mount Isa too.

    The problem is that if you push Mount Isa eastwards, you either need to drag it nearly to the coast, or making changes to Cook/Dalrymple that pushes Cook into the northern suburbs of Cairns.

    The Toowoomba region seems to have caused problems for lots of people. Unless you take Dalby out of Condamine (as I do), there seems to be too many electors to fit in 3 Districts. This is presumably the basis behind the LNPs creation of a new seat here.

  18. The comments on submissions have been released and there’s over 300 of them. This is the result of a concerted campaign objecting to Labor’s proposal to remove Highfields from Toowoomba North.

    We normally see these sort of campaigns at the draft stage rather than the suggestion stage. I’ve always found them to be rather mindless. They assume the commissioners will be swayed by the volume of their shouting rather than the quality of their argument.

    Plainly, the quality of their argument is not strong. Whatever one can say about Highfields’ connection with Toowoomba, a quick glance at a map shows it’s at a clear geographic remove from Toowoomba’s core. Contrast this with the current Toowoomba South/Condamine boundary which cuts right through the suburb of Darling Heights. This redistribution provides a chance to rectify that.

    The petitioners blame Labor for having the gall to suggest this obvious solution. Instead, they should be blaming the LNP, whose initiative to increase the size of parliament has caused this predicament.

  19. Thankfully there’s one Highfields resident savvy enough to let the commission – and the rest of us – know what’s really going on here.

    The campaign was provoked by sitting MP Trevor Watts. His email is attached in full with submission 289. It’s rather remarkable. He even feeds a long list of talking points to his recipients.

    To fight this battle so hard and so early in the process shows Watts is obviously frightened by the inescapable logic of Labor’s proposal.

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