Baw Baw backs option C for ward structure

Baw Baw Shire Council has rejected the Victorian Electoral Commission’s recommendation to retain its current ward structure.

Council voted at a special meeting on Monday to back an option to further reduce the municipality to three wards, each with multiple councillors.

Councillor’s preferred option (C) would place the northern Mountain Rivers communities of Erica, Rawson and Walhalla, along with Willow Grove and Tanjil South, in a North East Ward with Trafalgar, Yarragon and Thorpdale.

Under this option, the North East Ward would be represented by two councillors.

A North West Ward would consist of Drouin and a large amount of rural area represented by four councillors, while Warragul and rural zones in the south would be included in the three-councillor Central Ward.

In a four-four split, mayor Debbie Brown used her casting vote to endorse Baw Baw’s response submission into the VEC’s ward boundaries review.

Cr Brown highlighted the north-south corridor alignment of the Baw Baw-supported option and the placing of Drouin in one ward as the resolution to issues council had faced in its ward restructure discussions.

Council also voted to speak in front of the VEC at a public hearing in the council chambers next Thursday from 7pm.