Opinion Number. 248

Subject

MACQUARIE ISLAND WHETHER SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ELECTORAL DIVISION FOR TASMANIA : WHETHER OMISSION NECESSITATES NEW DISTRIBUTION

Date
Client
The Minister for Home Affairs

An opinion was given on 29 March 1906(1) that Macquarie Island was part of the State of Tasmania and therefore part of the Commonwealth.

An opinion is now desired as to whether the Island should be included in some Electoral Division of the Commonwealth for the State of Tasmania.

Tasmania had been divided into Electoral Divisions before the opinion above referred to had been given.

Macquarie Island or more properly the Macquarie group comprises several small islands and is about 1000 miles distant from Hobart.

According to the official Crown Lands Guide of Tasmania, issued in 1905, the group has been worked for some years as a birding and sealing ground by authority of the New Zealand Government under the belief that it was a dependency of that Colony; but more recently under licence from the State of Tasmania.

The Chief Electoral Officer states that Macquarie Island is leased to a New Zealand resident who keeps a few men employed in the collection of guano, oil, etc., and that these men are probably New Zealand citizens, and it is unlikely that they remain on the Island for any great length of time.

In my opinion, Macquarie Island should, when a redistribution of Tasmania into Electoral Divisions takes place, be included in one of the Divisions. But I do not think that the fact that it has not been included in any Division renders a new distribution necessary.

[Vol. 5, p. 279]

(1) Opinion No.237.