VEC review recommends boundary changes to Hepburn Shire Council

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) has published its electoral representation review into Hepburn Shire Council.

The purpose of the review was to "recommend the number of councillors and the electoral structure that provides 'fair and equitable representation for the persons who are entitled to vote at a general election of the Council'".

The review opened in late October 2019, with the VEC receiving five submissions from the community.

Following this input, the VEC published its preliminary report in late January this year, which presented three very different options. Seven submissions were received.

Last week, the VEC announced it had recommended 'option b'.

This option states that the council would continue to consist of seven councillors elected to represent five different wards, however, with adjustments to the current boundaries.

The last representation review, in 2007, changed the structure of the council from a five councillor structure, with each councillor representing a single ward.

The latest recommended structure has boundaries marked with more recognisable features.

Key changes are that Smeaton would no longer be split between two Creswick and Cameron wards, with the entire township to fall under Cameron Ward instead.

Meanwhile, the boundary between Holcombe ward and Birch ward would move so that Franklinford would fall into Holcombe ward instead.

The VEC also believes the number of voters-to-councillors in each ward is also best balanced with this option.

The VEC'S recommendation has been provided to the Minister for Local Government, Adem Somyurek, who will make a final decision about whether or not to accept.

If accepted by the minister, the changes will be applied to the upcoming council election in October.