Electoral Boundaries

State Electoral Boundaries

Electoral Districts

An electoral district is a geographically defined area, and each district elects a representative to the Legislative Assembly. New South Wales is divided into 93 State electoral districts.

Look up an Electoral District or verify your enrolment.

Boundary management

The electoral district boundaries are determined by a distribution process which provides for an approximately equal number of electors in each electoral district.

According to legislation, the number of voters in each electoral district should be approximately equal, allowing for a maximum of 10% variation more or less than the average.

Overtime, voter movements and the enrolment of new voters can cause the electoral population in some districts to grow while others may decline. This can cause an imbalance in the enrolled population between districts.

That is why the law requires that electoral boundaries are modified periodically. This process is called a redistribution.

Redistribution of Boundaries

A redistribution is carried out:

  • when the law changes the number of members of the Legislative Assembly (presently 93) or
  • after every second State election or
  • when more than a quarter of the electoral districts do not have an equal number of voters (within a margin of 5% more or less for a period of more than two months)
  • at other times as provided by law.

Redistributions are conducted by 3 Electoral District Commissioners who are appointed by the Governor.

As of 19 September 2013, the 2013 State Redistribution has been finalised and new boundaries published. The new district boundaries came into effect from the scheduled March 2015 State General Election.

Read about the 2013 Redistribution process

Local Government Area Boundaries

Areas and wards

The number of electors enrolled in council areas varies from less than 1,000 to over 150,000.

Councils may be either:

  • undivided - where the whole council electorate elects all the councillors for the council; or
  • divided into wards - where each ward electorate elects an equal number of councillors to make up the whole council.

There are 152 council areas in NSW .

Look up a Local Government area

Ward boundary management

Under section 211 of the Local Government Act 1993 councils that are divided into wards are required to keep these boundaries under review to ensure numbers of electors in each ward are approximately the same.

If a review is undertaken (which should occur once in every term in the year after an election), and a council is required to alter its ward boundaries due to a difference of greater than 10% in the number of electors between wards, the council is required to, among other things, consult the NSW Electoral Commission.

An undivided council can only divide its area into wards, or abolish wards in its area if approval is given at a referendum. All enrolled electors in a council area vote in a referendum and the result of the referendum is binding on the council.

Boundary changes affecting local government areas that involve amalgamation occur through the Local Government Boundaries Commission, a statutory authority constituted under the Local Government Act 1993.