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Decision time on potential loss of SA federal seat

Politics

Voters will find out later this week whether the federal parliament will get an extra member overall – but South Australia’s representation could fall to its lowest level since the 1950s.

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The Australian Electoral Commission must determine the number of seats for every state and territory a year after the first sitting for a new House of Representatives – which falls on Thursday.

A paper by the Parliamentary Library predicts the number of seats in South Australia will be reduced by one, taking its MPs to 10, and Victoria and the ACT will gain one seat each, based on the latest census data.

This would take the number of lower house MPs to 151, up from 150 where it has been since the 2001 election.

SA’s seat numbers would be the lowest since 1954 and down from 13 at the 1990 election.

Victoria has experienced annual population growth of 2.4 per cent, the highest of any state, while the ACT’s growth was 1.7 per cent.

Victoria’s allocation would lift to 38 while the ACT would go from two to three seats.

The parliamentary library note suggests the SA seats of Barker and Grey – both held by Liberal MPs – would be combined into one.

In Victoria, the greater Melbourne seats of Gorton and McEwen – both safe Labor – would be split into three.

And the two ACT seats of Canberra and Fenner – held by Labor – would be split into three.

Redistributions of Victoria, SA and the ACT are likely to start in September, but may need to be fast-tracked if a federal election is held in August or September next year, as has been suggested by some pundits.

– with AAP

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