Colac’s Phil Edge remains hopeful that Colac will stay in the federal electorate of Corangamite after speaking at an Australian Electoral Commission hearing at Winchelsea yesterday.
The AEC proposed in April to move about 12,000 voters from the northern part of Colac Otway Shire, including Colac, into the neighbouring electorate of Wannon. The proposal would also see Corangamite renamed “Cox”.
Electoral officials heard verbal objections to the proposal at a public inquiry at Winchelsea’s Globe Theatre yesterday, after receiving about 180 written submissions related to the changes last month.
“It was a very welcome opportunity to be able to attend and make a verbal submission and gives us some hope that they are still considering whether or not to go ahead with the proposal,” Mr Edge said.
About half of the 26 speakers who had made a verbal submission in the first three hours of yesterday’s inquiry objected to Colac moving into Wannon.
Among speakers were Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson, Colac Otway Shire’s acting chief Robert Dobrzynski, residents, interested parties and representatives from the Australian Liberal and Labor parties.
Mr Edge told the hearing that the offices for the member for Wannon at Hamilton were a four-hour round journey for Colac residents, whereas Corangamite’s MP had offices in Colac and Waurn Ponds.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.