Local government in Victoria

Local government in the Australian state of Victoria consist of 79 local government areas (LGAs).[1] Also referred to as municipalities, Victorian LGAs are classified as cities (34), shires (38), rural cities (6) and boroughs (1). In general, an urban or suburban LGA is called a city and is governed by a City Council, while a rural LGA covering a larger rural area is usually called a shire and is governed by a Shire Council. Local councils have the same administrative functions and similar political structures, regardless of their classification. They will typically have an elected council and usually a mayor or shire president responsible for chairing meetings of the council. The City of Melbourne has a Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor, who are directly elected, and in the other councils a mayor and deputy mayor are elected by fellow Councillors from among their own number. Since 2017, the mayor of the City of Greater Geelong has not been directly elected. In addition, there are also 10 unincorporated areas, consisting of small islands or ski resorts, which are administered either by the state government or management boards.[2]

Council elections are held every four years on the fourth Saturday in October.[3] The last council elections were held on 22 October 2016.[4] Election was not held for the City of Greater Geelong, which was under administration until council elections were held on 27 October 2017.[5][6] In 2016, 637 local Councillors were elected in the 78 Councils contested.[7] Casual vacancies of councilors are filled by countback of the last ballots,[8] except for the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, which is filled by a by-election.

Australia Victoria with LGA names
Map of Local Government Areas in Victoria
Australia Victoria Melbourne Metro Area LGA names
Detail of Local Government Areas in and around Melbourne
Australia Victoria location map colored by type
Types of LGAs
Victoria old LGAs map filled
LGAs in 1992

History

Local government had existed in Victoria since before its separation from New South Wales in 1851. The Town of Melbourne was established by an Act of the NSW Governor and Legislative Council in 1842[9][10] and the Borough of Geelong was established in 1849.[11] Both bodies continued after the creation of Victoria as a separate colony, and both later became cities. Road districts were established under legislation passed in 1853. From 1862 many road districts became shires pursuant to the District Councils Bill 1862. To become a shire, the road district had to be over 100 square miles (260 km2) in size and have annual rate revenue of over £1000. There were 96 road districts or shires created by 1865.[12] The first Victorian general Act dealing with local government was the Local Government Act 1874, which empowered shires to be established in territories that could financially support them, and boroughs to be established in areas not exceeding 9 square miles (23 km2) with a population of at least 300. Promotion to town or city status was dependent on the gross revenue of the council. Such promotion was not automatic, but it was granted often.

Local government has been referred to in the Victorian constitution since 1979 (sec. IIA), but it does not operate so as to make Victoria a federation or protect the borders or powers of local government from amendment by executive order or act of parliament. Today, the constitution recognises it "a distinct and essential tier of government" and prohibits a council being dismissed by executive order, but grants significant powers to the state parliament in respect of local government. The clauses have been amended many times by parliament, but since 2006 the Constitution Act has required a referendum to further alter them.

The current Local Government Act dates to 1989 and eliminated administrative distinctions between cities and shires, introduced the category of rural city and removed the possibility of declaring any further boroughs or towns (existing boroughs and towns were retained, although only one, the Borough of Queenscliffe, remains today, the others being abolished with the 1994 restructure). Five shires became rural cities but were dissolved with the 1994 restructure.

In 1992, there were 65 cities in Victoria. In 1994, the Jeff Kennett government restructured local government in Victoria. His reforms dissolved 210 councils and sacked 1600 elected councillors, and created 78 new councils through amalgamations.[13][14] In suburban Melbourne 53 municipalities were reduced to 26. The new local government areas (LGAs) were headed by commissioners appointed by the State Government, democratically elected councils returned in 1996.[15] The 79th LGA was created in 2002 when the Shire of Delatite was split into the Rural City of Benalla and the Shire of Mansfield.[13] A new City of Sunbury was proposed to be created from part of the City of Hume after the 2016 council elections, but this was abandoned by the Victorian Government in October 2015.[16][17]

General characteristics

VictoriaLocalGovernmentNumberOfCouncillors2012Election
Different councils have different numbers of councillors

All local government areas (i.e. cities, rural cities, shires and boroughs) are governed in a similar fashion, with an elected council, one of whom is the mayor (in shires the mayor may use the title "president"; the City of Melbourne has the title "lord mayor"). The City of Melbourne has a directly elected Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor, whereas other councils elect a mayor from one of their number. The City of Greater Geelong has not had a directly elected mayor since 2017. Some LGAs are divided into wards for the purpose of electing Councillors; where a ward elects a single councillor, it is by preferential voting; and where it elects multiple councillors, it is by proportional voting using the Single Transferrable Vote. Voting is in all cases compulsory for enrolled voters and elections for all councils now happen on the same day every four years—on the fourth Saturday in October two years after state parliamentary elections.

The average area of a municipal district within the Melbourne metropolitan area is 285 square kilometres (110 sq mi); the average area of the remaining municipal districts is 4,545 square kilometres (1,755 sq mi). Despite this area being comparable to the average area of a US or English county, there are no administrative subdivisions such as American towns and cities or English parishes; suburbs (a part of an urban area), towns and rural districts, although legally defined, have a purely geographical existence.

According to the Local Government Act 1989, the term "city" must be used for a municipal district which is predominantly urban in character; "rural city" must be used for a rural district which is partly urban and partly rural in character; and the term "shire" must be used for a municipal district which is predominantly rural. In practice, this is understood as referring to the population distribution between urban centres and rural areas. The term "borough", used in the Borough of Queenscliffe, is not defined by the Act but has been retained for the single borough which survived the reforms of the 1990s. Under the repealed Local Government Act 1958, boroughs, towns and cities were defined on the basis of area, population and rateable property. In practice, boroughs were and are small towns.

Political composition

In contrast to ones at federal and state levels, local government elections in Victoria are a generally non-partisan affair. Major political parties typically do not endorse candidates at the council level.[18] This has resulted in a situation where councillors may hold political party affiliation, but instead contest the election as an independent. These nominal independents have attracted controversy, with their affiliation being branded as insufficiently transparent.[19][20][21] As the VEC, unlike in jurisdictions such as New South Wales, provides no way for party affiliation to be listed for council elections, candidates appear without any party label on ballot papers.

As a result, the overwhelming majority of councillors in Victoria are independents. The prevalence of independent councillors is generally larger in regional and rural areas, with metropolitan LGAs having a greater number of party-affiliated councillors. Nonetheless, recent trends have seen greater party involvement within local government politics. This participation has been large among smaller parties such as the Greens, with the major political parties subsequently indicating a potential change to their approach to council elections.[22] Various residents' associations, community alliances and independent groups also sporadically contest elections.

The current political composition of Victorian LGAs is as follows:

Party Councillors
  Independent 502
  Labor 54
  Liberal 46
  Greens 28
  Team Doyle 4
  Socialists 2
  Port Phillip Community Alliance 2
  National 1
  Indigenous Voice on Council 1
  Justice 1
  Team Morgan 1
  Conservatives 1
  Together Melbourne 1
  Rise Up Australia 1
 Total 645

Municipalities of Greater Melbourne

Thirty-one of the municipalities form the Greater Melbourne area, each being wholly, or partly, within the Melbourne metropolitan or urban area. All Melbourne suburbs lie within these municipalities. The outer of these municipalities such as Cardinia Shire and Yarra Ranges Shire have much of their area outside Melbourne's urban area. Greater Melbourne and regional municipalities are sometimes treated differently by state government legislation, for instance the Public Holidays Act permits non-metropolitan councils to replace Melbourne Cup Day with a local public holiday.

Unincorporated areas

In addition to the LGAs, there are also 10 small unincorporated areas within the state. These comprise coastal islands and several ski resorts. The coastal islands are:

  1. French Island and Sandstone Island incorporating Elizabeth Island[23]
  2. Gabo Island
  3. Lady Julia Percy Island.

These unincorporated areas are directly administered by the state.

Six alpine resorts are excised from the surrounding shires by declarations made under the Alpine Resorts Act 1983 and administered by alpine resort management boards established under the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997. Unlike local councils, these boards are fully appointed by the state government but fulfil similar functions. The territories managed by them are considered to be municipal districts for the purposes of the Emergency Management Act 1986 and the Environment Protection Act 1970,[24] but not generally. The ski resorts are:

  1. Falls Creek Alpine Resort (surrounded by the Alpine Shire)
  2. Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
  3. Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort
  4. Mount Buller Alpine Resort (surrounded by Shire of Mansfield)
  5. Mount Hotham Alpine Resort
  6. Mount Stirling Alpine Resort

They are rarely included in lists of local government areas and are not considered to be LGAs by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with their population included in the unincorporated areas section of such lists,[25] but are occasionally listed alongside municipalities.[26]

See also

References

  1. ^ Local Government Act 1989 (Vic)
  2. ^ "Local Government Areas and Statistical Local Areas – Alphabetic". Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Jul 2008. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  3. ^ Local Government Act 1989 (Vic.), s.31
  4. ^ Municipal Association of Victoria, Council elections
  5. ^ "Geelong Council officially sacked, elections to be held in 2017, as bill passes Parliament". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  6. ^ Local Government (Greater Geelong City Council) Act 2016
  7. ^ http://www.mav.asn.au/about-local-government/council-elections/Documents/Overall%20election%20trends%20fact%20sheet%202016.pdf
  8. ^ "Victorian Electoral Commission v Municipal Electoral Tribunal (No 2) (Review and Regulation) [2017] VCAT 375 (14 March 2017)" (PDF). VCAT. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  9. ^ Act 6 Victoria No. 7 of the Governor and Legislative Council of New South Wales.
  10. ^ Victorian Municipal Directory. Brunswick: Arnall & Jackson. 1992. pp. 275–278. Accessed at State Library of Victoria, La Trobe Reading Room.
  11. ^ Geelong Incorporation Act (NSW), 13 Vic. No. 40.
  12. ^ The progress of Victoria: A statistical essay (Intercolonial Exhibition essays, 1866–67) by William Henry Archer. ASIN: B0008BRIUG
  13. ^ a b Royce Millar & Jason Dowling (25 April 2004). "Kennett's blitz a decade on". The Age. theage.com.au. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Information Paper: Victorian Local Government Amalgamations 1994-95 : Changes to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification" (PDF). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 1 August 1995.
  15. ^ "Municipal Government". eMelbourne – The Encyclopedia of Melbourne Online. www.emelbourne.net.au. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  16. ^ "Overview of the Sunbury Hume Transition Audit". Sunbury Hume Transition Audit. State Government of Victoria. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  17. ^ "Independent Sunbury Hume Advice Accepted". Premier of Victoria. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  18. ^ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-24/melbourne-council-elections-show-strong-result-for-greens/7960136
  19. ^ https://myaccount.news.com.au/sites/geelongadvertiser/subscribe.html?sourceCode=GAWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&mode=premium&dest=https://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/opinion/socalled-independent-candidates-running-thin-in-geelong/news-story/f46575a2074cd72e772266d3e2fb9e81&memtype=anonymous
  20. ^ https://www.matthrkac.com/archive/geelong2017/index.html
  21. ^ https://myaccount.news.com.au/sites/geelongadvertiser/subscribe.html?sourceCode=GAWEB_WRE170_a&mode=premium&dest=https://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/opinion/peter-moore-i-would-much-prefer-candidates-to-be-upfront-about-their-political-affiliations/news-story/4ade19b186c93246aabbe2d2ea004417&memtype=anonymous
  22. ^ >https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-24/melbourne-council-elections-show-strong-result-for-greens/7960136
  23. ^ Department of Planning and Community Development, Government of Victoria, Australia (19 April 2013). "French Island and Sandstone Island Planning Scheme Home Page and user's guide". Planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ Alpine Resorts (Management) Act, 1997
  25. ^ Australian Standard Geographical Classification, July 2010. 2010?OpenDocument Accessed 22 March 2011.
  26. ^ For example, VicNames database Archived 19 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Alpine Shire

The Alpine Shire is a local government area in the Hume region of Victoria, Australia, located in the north-east part of the state. It covers an area of 4,787 square kilometres (1,848 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census had a population of over 12,000.

It includes the towns of Bright, Dinner Plain, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford. There are two unincorporated areas within the shire: the areas around Mount Hotham and Falls Creek. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Bright, Shire of Myrtleford, and parts of the United Shire of Beechworth, Shire of Oxley, Shire of Yackandandah and Shire of Omeo.The Shire is governed and administered by the Alpine Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Bright, it also has service centres located in Dinner Plain, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford. The Shire is named after its location in the popular alpine region of Victoria.

City of Stonnington

The City of Stonnington is a local government area located within the metropolitan area of Melbourne, Australia. It comprises the inner south-eastern suburbs, between 3 and 13 km (2 and 8 mi), from the Melbourne CBD. The city covers an area of 25.6 km2 (9.9 sq mi) and includes the suburbs of South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor, Toorak, Armadale, Kooyong, Glen Iris, Malvern and Malvern East.

Within twenty years of the settlement of Melbourne in 1835, the Prahran Municipality (later City of Prahran) was formed in 1855, followed by the Gardiner Road Board (later City of Malvern) in 1856.

The late 19th century saw substantial residential and commercial development such that by 1891 Prahran had a population of almost 40,000 and Malvern 11,000. Following the election of the Kennett government in the Spring of 1992, as part of a comprehensive reorganisation of local government in Victoria, the Cities of Malvern and Prahran were amalgamated to form the City of Stonnington. The Malvern Town Hall was renamed the Stonnington City Centre and it became the corporate headquarters of the new Stonnington City Council. In 2015, the new Stonnington City Centre, opposite at 311 Glenferrie Road, was opened and the Malvern Town Hall reverted to its original name.

The name Stonnington comes from Stonington mansion, the Charles D'Ebro-designed mansion built in 1890 for a founding partner of Cobb and Co, John Wagner, who named the house after his wife's birthplace in Stonington (sic), Connecticut, USA. The house is located in Glenferrie Road, Malvern.

The City of Stonnington recorded a population of 103,832 at the 2016 Census.

Flag of the Black Country

The Black Country flag is the flag of the Black Country, England. It was registered with the Flag Institute as a regional flag in 2012.

Golden Plains Shire

The Golden Plains Shire is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the western part of the state. It covers an area of 2,704 square kilometres (1,044 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census, had a population of over 21,000. It includes the towns of Bannockburn, Gheringhap, Lethbridge, Linton, Berringa, Teesdale, Rokewood and Meredith.

The Shire was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Bannockburn, Shire of Leigh, Shire of Grenville and part of the Shire of Buninyong. Upon its creation, it was known as the Southern Rural Shire, intended to exist temporarily until the Local Government Board drew up final council boundaries for the Ballarat region. However, a few months later it was decided to make the municipality permanent, and it was renamed to its current name on 1 October 1994.The Shire is governed and administered by the Golden Plains Shire Council. Its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the Council headquarters in Bannockburn, and it also has a service centre located in Linton.

Municipal Association of Victoria

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is the legislated peak body for representing the local governments in Victoria.

Municipal Borough of Acton

Acton was a local government district in Middlesex, England from 1865 to 1965.

Rural City of Swan Hill

The Rural City of Swan Hill is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the north-western part of the state. It covers an area of 6,117 square kilometres (2,362 sq mi) and, at the 2016 Census, had a population of 20,584. It includes the towns of Swan Hill, Lake Boga, Manangatang, Nyah, Nyah West, Piangil, Robinvale, Ultima and Woorinen South. It was formed in 1995 from the amalgamation of the City of Swan Hill, Shire of Swan Hill and part of the Shire of Kerang.The Rural City is governed and administered by the Swan Hill Rural City Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Swan Hill, it also has a service centre located in Robinvale. The Rural City is named after the main urban settlement lying in the south-east of the LGA, that is Swan Hill, which is also the LGA's most populous urban centre with a population of 10,431.

Shire of Buloke

The Shire of Buloke is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the western part of the state. It covers an area of 8,004 square kilometres (3,090 sq mi) and, at the 2011 Census, had a population of 6,384. It includes the towns of Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Sea Lake and Wycheproof. It was formed in 1995 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Wycheproof, Shire of Birchip, Shire of Charlton, Shire of Donald, and parts of the Shire of Kara Kara.The Shire is governed and administered by the Buloke Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the Council headquarters in Wycheproof, it also has service centres located in Birchip, Charlton, Donald and Sea Lake. The Shire is named after a major geographical feature in the region, Lake Buloke, which is located in the south of the LGA; the name also comes from the "buloke" or "bulloak" tree Allocasuarina luehmannii, which is common in the region.

Shire of East Gippsland

The Shire of East Gippsland is a local government area in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, located in the eastern part of the state. It covers an area of 20,931 square kilometres (8,082 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census had a population of approximately 45,000.

It includes the towns of Bairnsdale, Benambra, Bruthen, Buchan, Ensay, Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota, Metung, Omeo, Orbost, Paynesville, Swan Reach and Swifts Creek. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the City of Bairnsdale, Shire of Bairnsdale, Shire of Omeo, Shire of Orbost, Shire of Tambo and parts of the Shire of Rosedale.The Shire is governed and administered by the East Gippsland Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Bairnsdale, it also has service centres located in Lakes Entrance, Omeo and Orbost. The Shire is named after the Gippsland region, in which the LGA occupies the eastern portion.

Shire of Glenelg

The Glenelg Shire is a local government area in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, Australia, located in the south-western part of the state. It covers an area of 6,212 square kilometres (2,398 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census had a population of over 19,000. It includes the towns of Casterton, Heywood, Merino and Portland. Although a shire of the same name existed before the amalgamations of the mid-1990s, the current Shire was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the former Shire of Glenelg with the Shire of Heywood and City of Portland.The Shire is governed and administered by the Glenelg Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Portland, it also has service centres located in Casterton and Heywood. The Shire is named after the Glenelg River, a major geographical feature that meanders through the LGA.

At the 2001 Census, the population of the Shire was distributed in the following way:

Portland: 49.7%, Casterton: 8.7%, Heywood: 6.3%, Dartmoor: 1.3%, Merino: 1.1%, Narrawong: 0.9% and Rural Balance: 32%.

Shire of Indigo

The Shire of Indigo, a local government area (LGA) in the Hume region of Victoria, Australia, lies in the north-east part of the state. It covers an area of 2,044 square kilometres (789 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census had a population of approximately 16,000.

It includes the towns of Beechworth, Chiltern, Rutherglen and Yackandandah. It formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Rutherglen, Shire of Chiltern, Shire of Yackandandah and United Shire of Beechworth.The Shire is governed and administered by the Indigo Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Beechworth, it also has service centres located in Chiltern, Rutherglen and Yackandandah. The Shire is named after the Indigo Valley and Indigo Creek, geographical features that meander through the LGA and into the Murray River.

In 2008 the BankWest Quality of Life Index rated Indigo fifteenth of 590 Australian local government areas.

Shire of Mitchell

The Shire of Mitchell is a local government area in the Hume region of Victoria, Australia, located North of Melbourne. It covers an area of 2,864 square kilometres (1,106 sq mi) and, at the 2011 Census, had a population of 34,637. It includes the towns of Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour, Tallarook, Pyalong and Wallan. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Pyalong, Shire of Kilmore, most of the Shire of Broadford, and parts of the Shire of McIvor and Rural City of Seymour.The Shire is governed and administered by the Mitchell Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Broadford, it also has service centres located in Kilmore, Seymour and Wallan. The Shire is named after an early British surveyor and explorer, Major Thomas Mitchell, who explored the south-eastern part of Australia, and whose return route for his third expedition passed through the present-day LGA.

It is the one of the fastest growing regional municipalities in Victoria.

Shire of Moira

The Shire of Moira is a local government area in the Hume region of Victoria, Australia, located in the north-east part of the state. It covers an area of 4,045 square kilometres (1,562 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census had a population of over 29,000.

It includes the towns of Cobram, Nathalia, Numurkah, Tungamah and Yarrawonga. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Cobram, Shire of Nathalia, Shire of Numurkah, and parts of the Shire of Tungamah and Shire of Yarrawonga.The Shire is governed and administered by the Moira Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Cobram, it also has service centres located in Numurkah and Yarrawonga. The Shire is named after the county of Moira, in which the LGA occupies the northern part of this county.

Shire of Moorabool

The Shire of Moorabool is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the western part of the state. It covers an area of 2,110 square kilometres (810 sq mi) and, at the 2016 Census, had a population of 31,818. It includes the towns of Ballan, Bacchus Marsh, Balliang, Mount Wallace, Myrniong, Blackwood, Greendale, Gordon, Korweinguboora and Mount Egerton, Bungaree, Elaine and Wallace. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Bacchus Marsh, Shire of Ballan and parts of the Shire of Bungaree and City of Werribee.The Shire is governed and administered by the Moorabool Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Ballan, it also has service centres located in Bacchus Marsh and Darley. The Shire is named after the Moorabool River, a major geographical feature that meanders through the LGA.

Shire of Moyne

The Shire of Moyne is a local government area in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, Australia, located in the south-western part of the state. It covers an area of 5,478 square kilometres (2,115 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census had a population of approximately 16,500. It includes the towns of Port Fairy, Koroit, Mortlake, Macarthur, Peterborough, Caramut, Ellerslie, Framlingham, Garvoc, Hawkesdale, Kirkstall, Panmure, Mailors Flat, Purnim, Wangoom and Woolsthorpe. It also entirely surrounds the City of Warrnambool, a separate local government area. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Belfast, Shire of Minhamite, Borough of Port Fairy, and parts of the Shire of Mortlake, Shire of Warrnambool, Shire of Dundas, Shire of Mount Rouse and Shire of Hampden.The Shire is governed and administered by the Moyne Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Port Fairy, it also has service centres located in Macarthur and Mortlake. The Shire is named after the Moyne River, a major geographical feature that meanders through the LGA.

The industry base for the area includes: Dairy, beef cattle, sheep, vegetable production, manufacturing (quarrying, food products, pharmaceuticals, seafood), tourism.

Shire of Murrindindi

The Shire of Murrindindi is a local government area in the Hume region of Victoria, Australia, located in the north-east part of the state. It covers an area of 3,889 square kilometres (1,502 sq mi) and, at the 2016 Census, had a population of over 13,500. It includes the towns of Alexandra, Buxton, Eildon, Flowerdale, Kinglake, Marysville, Molesworth, Strath Creek, Taggerty, Yarck and Yea. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Alexandra, Shire of Yea, and parts of the Shire of Broadford, Shire of Eltham, Shire of Euroa, Shire of Healesville and City of Whittlesea.The Shire is governed by the Murrindindi Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Alexandra, it also has service centres located in Kinglake and Yea. The Shire is named after the locality of Murrindindi, which is located near the geographical centre of the LGA.

Parts of Murrindindi were badly affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, notably the towns of Marysville and Kinglake. In total, 106 people lost their lives across the Shire including 38 in Kinglake and 34 in Marysville.

Shire of Wellington

The Shire of Wellington is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the eastern part of the state. It covers an area of 10,989 square kilometres (4,243 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census had a population of almost 43,000.

It includes the towns of Heyfield, Rosedale, Maffra, Sale, Stratford, Coongulla, Newry, Tinamba and Yarram. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the Shire of Alberton, Shire of Avon, Shire of Maffra, City of Sale and parts of the Shire of Rosedale.The Shire is governed and administered by the Wellington Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Sale, it also has service centres located in Maffra, Stratford and Rosedale. The Shire is named after a major geographical feature in the region, Lake Wellington, which is located in the south-east of the LGA.

South Gippsland Shire

The Shire of South Gippsland is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the south-eastern part of the state. It covers an area of 3,305 square kilometres (1,276 sq mi) and, at the 2016 Census had a population of over 28,000.

It includes the towns of Leongatha, Korumburra, Foster, Poowong, Mirboo North and Meeniyan. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the former Shire of South Gippsland with the Shire of Mirboo, and parts of the Shire of Korumburra and Shire of Woorayl.The Shire is governed and administered by the South Gippsland Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Leongatha, it also has a service centre located in Mirboo North. The Shire is named after the Gippsland region, in which the LGA occupies the southernmost portion, including Wilsons Promontory at the southern tip of the Australian continent.

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