Snapshot: Representation Reviews in numbers
Ten months, 24 local councils, 48 reports, thousands of kilometres travelled, and thousands of public submissions received. Have a look at the numbers behind what we’ve been doing so far this year to bring democracy to local communities.
Since January this year, the VEC’s representation review team has travelled hundreds of kilometres across the state to review the electoral structures of 24 Victorian local councils. This hardworking team includes researchers, project officers, geospatial analysts, managers, support staff, consultants and many others.
From Robinvale in the state’s north-west to Echuca in the north, Portland in the west, Orbost in the east and through much of metropolitan Melbourne, the team has connected with a range of local communities, including farmers, business-owners, coastal residents, retirees, environmentalists and many other cultural and community groups.
We’ve made significant efforts to reach out to local communities and involve them in all parts of the review process:
- 72 media releases and 48 social media posts
- Thousands of emails to community groups
- 118 newspapers advertisements in local rags around the state
- 34 public information sessions
- 26 public hearings.
As a result, we’ve seen high levels of community engagement. In the review of Boroondara, for example, we received a total of 465 public submissions and 19 people spoke at the public hearing. For the review of Nillumbik, we received 157 public submissions with 14 people speaking at the public hearing.
In total, we’ve received more than 1,400 submissions across the 24 councils we’ve reviewed so far. We read, analyse and take into consideration every single one of them. These ranged from as little as a few words to dozens of pages and addressed a range of issues, such as voter choice, connecting with councillors and the fairest ways to represent different communities.
Submitters have a variety of life experiences, our youngest being 14 years old. We’ve also received plenty of submissions from community groups – from Dairy Farmers to Lacrosse Clubs – telling us about their specific representation needs.
The end results
We presented to the public a total of 55 electoral structure maps across the 24 local councils.
Mapping different electoral structures is a crucial part of the review process. Through the VEC’s online mapping tool—Boundary Builder—submitters can take part in the mapping process and behind the scenes geospatial experts at the VEC take those suggestions and map hundreds of options and variations. These options are then presented in preliminary reports for community consultation.
By October this year, we had produced and published a total of 48 reports – a preliminary report and a final report for each of the 24 councils. We’ve recommended changes to the electoral structure of 10 local councils and recommended that 14 keep their current structure.
We’ll complete reviews of seven more councils between now and April 2020. If you’d like to get involved by writing a submission and creating a map.