Moira Shire Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s decision to remain un-subdivided with nine councillors leading up to the 2020 Local Government elections.
Mayor Libro Mustica said this latest decision reverses a recommendation by the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), following a review in the second half of last year, to move Moira Shire to a three ward council with three councillors in each ward.
“We were concerned by the VEC recommendation as it was the opposite position to its interim report findings and seemed to have been influenced by the notion that Yarrawonga was different to the rest of the shire and needed guaranteed local councillors,” Cr Mustica said.
Cr Mustica said, during the most recent review by the VEC, the whole basis of submissions from the east of the shire was Yarrawonga needed more councillors to secure a bigger share of the shire’s budget and capital works program.
“Under the VEC’s recommendation it would be limited to three councillors out of nine in spite of it being the fastest growing town in the shire,” he said.
“We did some population modelling to show the VEC’s proposed boundaries would only last for one election and then need to be-redrawn as voter numbers would breach the 10% variation cap.
“Council believed the VEC recommendation was a backward step and we are very happy the Victorian Government has listened to our concerns and made the decision to keep the status quo.
“At the end of the day wards are just the means by which you get elected, what you bring to the council table is what really matters.
“We now look forward to hearing whether the 2020 elections will be delayed by 12 months in response to COVID19.
“We understand a decision on this is likely to be made during May but in any event it will be for an un-subdivided council.”