Wednesday 25 January 2023
For immediate release
Throughout 2023–24, 39 Victorian local councils will undergo electoral structure reviews. Round one reviews for 12 rural shire councils, including Surf Coast Shire Council, are under way.
The Local Government Act 2020 (the Act) introduced several changes, including that all rural shire councils must now be either:
- subdivided with single-councillor wards
- multi-councillor wards with an equal number of councillors per ward.
The reviews will be conducted by independent electoral representation advisory panels. Under the Act, the Electoral Commissioner (or delegate) must be a member of a panel.
'The panels will consider if councils have an appropriate number of councillors and whether they should be one large unsubdivided area or subdivided into wards,' Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said. 'If the council will be subdivided, the panel will look at how many wards the council should have, the number of councillors in each ward, ward boundaries and ward names.'
The review of Surf Coast Shire Council is in group 2 along with the reviews of 3 other councils.
Online public information sessions to announce the start of the reviews, explain the processes, and open the submissions period will be held for this group of councils at 12 noon on Monday 30 January and 6 pm on Tuesday 31 January 2023. Visit vec.vic.gov.au/surf-coast to find out how to attend an online public information session.
Preliminary submissions for the electoral structure review of Surf Coast Shire Council open at 9 am on Wednesday 1 February 2023 and close at 5 pm on Wednesday 22 February 2023.
The panel encourages all Victorians in the councils under review to contribute to the review process and have their say.
People interested in making a submission can map their proposed electoral structure online using the public submission tool available on the VEC website.