Enacted on 10 April 1974, this document provides for two House of Representatives seats for the Australian Capital Territory, with the Jervis Bay Territory included in the northern ACT electoral division of Fraser.
Until 1949 the Australian Captial Territory had no representation in the Commonwealth parliament. Under the Representation Act 1948
the size of the House of Representatives was increased from 75 to 122 seats, including one seat for the ACT.
Well known Canberra identity Dr Lewis Nott became the ACT’s first Member of the House of Representatives after the next federal election, on 10 December 1949. That year Indigenous people entitled to vote in State elections, or who had served in the defence forces, were granted the right to vote for representation in the Commonwealth parliament. Other Indigenous people finally won this right in 1962, when voluntary enrolment and voting at federal elections was extended to all Indigenous people in Australia (compulsory voting was extended to cover Indigenous voters in 1984).
Until 1966, the ACT Member of the House of Representatives could vote only on matters directly concerning the Territory.
In 1973 the Labor government of Gough Whitlam introduced the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1973
, and in 1974 introduced this Act, to increase the size of the Parliament by granting full representation in both Houses to the ACT and the Northern Territory.
This Act was enacted on 10 April, the day before the double dissolution of the twenty-eighth parliament. The first election for the new House of Representatives seats was held on 18 May 1974, just five weeks later. This was the first federal election where the new voting age of 18 years applied.
The first member for the new division of Fraser was Ken Fry, while Kep Enderby, who held the former ACT seat, was returned for the second new division, named Canberra.
Souter, Gavin, Acts of Parliament
, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1988.
Sparke, Eric, Canberra 1954–1980
, Australian Government Printing Service, Canberra, 1988.
|Long Title:||An Act to Provide for the Representation in the House of Representatives of the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory and the Northern Territory (Act 8 of 1974)|
|No. of pages:||Cover + 4 pages |
|Measurements:||28 x 21.5 cm|
|Provenance:||House of Representatives|
|Features:||The Assent signature of the Governor-General Paul Hasluck on page 3 – and an error corrected by hand on the same page|
|Location & Copyright:||National Archives of Australia|
|Reference:||NAA: A1559, 1974/8|