Labor has successfully secured democracy for the Northern Territory through its campaign to guarantee two lower house MPs for the NT.
We welcome the government’s agreement with the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) recommendation today that a guaranteed minimum of two lower house seats for the NT should be legislated.
Such a guarantee was the key feature of the bill Labor introduced to the Parliament in June.
We have fought hard on behalf of all Territorians since it first became clear the NT would lose an electorate under the formula the Australian Electoral Commission must use to determine the number of seats in each state and territory.
The government’s statement of support for the recommendation means Labor’s campaign will successfully prevent the NT from becoming one vast, under-represented electorate, served by a single lower house MP.
This is a huge and important win for the nearly 250,000 Territorians living across more than 1.4 million square kilometres, as well as the remote Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Labor has always been committed to ensuring all Territorians, including around 30 per cent of the population who are First Nations people, continue to have fair representation in our Federal Parliament.
With JSCEM recommending a guarantee of two lower house MPs for the NT and ACT and the government stating its support for that recommendation, we now look forward to legislation passing the Parliament before the end of this year to protect the Territory’s lower house seats by law.