Colac Otway Shire mayor Joe McCracken says council’s job will be “more difficult” following the Australian Electoral Commission’s final decision to move part of the shire into Wannon.
“It’s going to be a challenge, particularly when we’ve got towns like Gellibrand and Birregurra, which are quite closely associated with Colac being in a different electorate,” Cr McCracken said.
“It will make it more difficult for council to advocate on their behalves.”
The AEC had received about 85 written objections, including one by Colac Otway Shire Council, to a proposal to move Colac out of the Corangamite electorate and into Wannon.
Colac community leaders also gathered more than 600 signatures as part of an online petition opposing the move, which the AEC proposed in April as part of a state-wide redistribution.
But an augmented Electoral Commission of Victoria confirmed on Wednesday that the move would go ahead, shifting parts of the shire including Colac, Beeac and Cressy into Wannon.
Gellibrand, Birregurra, Forrest and Apollo Bay will stay in Corangamite.
“I’m pretty disappointed to be perfectly honest,” Cr McCracken said. “A lot of people have put their time and effort into the submissions and the online petition.
“It has virtually resulted in nothing.”
The AEC also confirmed it would retain the name Corangamite for the realigned electorate, following hundreds of 100 written objections and follow-up comments on a proposal to name rename it “Cox”.
Colac resident and Liberal voter Phil Edge, who started the online petition, said he was pleased the name Corangamite had been retained but was disappointed the electorate did not include Colac.
“Our ties with Geelong in regard to health and education will be maintained, but it means we are not going to have the ready access to our federal MP Dan Tehan if we need to travel to Hamilton,” Mr Edge said.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.