Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Date: Friday, 16 October 2020
The Government welcomes the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Ensuring Fair Representation of the Northern Territory) Bill 2020 (Fair Representation Bill).
The Government agrees with the recommendation of the Committee that the Government should legislate to guarantee a minimum of two House of Representatives seats for both the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
Government legislation will be introduced into the Parliament with the intention of having it passed by the end of the year to ensure that both Territories have a two seat minimum representation while avoiding the inequality in the treatment of the Territories that is proposed in the Fair Representation Bill.
The recommendation of the Committee for the Government to review resourcing available to Members of Parliament representing large electorates will be considered as part of the upcoming review into the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017.