DESPITE the split of Wellington Shire into three wards, it’s business as usual for council, according to mayor Darren McCubbin.
Two weeks ago the Victorian Electoral Commission recommended the shire change from being unsubdivided to having three wards, each with three councillors.
The Northern Ward will cover an area from Rosedale, Maffra and Stratford to the High Country; Sale, Wurruk, Longford and most of the Lake Wellington shore will form the Central Ward, while the Coastal Ward will go from Gormandale, Yarram and along the Ninety Mile Beach.
The changes will take effect for the council election next October.
Wellington Shire Council had supported the retention of the current structure.
While disappointed in the VEC ruling, Cr McCubbin said councillors would “accept the umpire’s decision”.
“We will serve with the rules that are given to us,” he said.
“We, as a council, will completely take on board the results of the electoral commission.”
Cr McCubbin said the new structure would not create divisions across the shire.
“I like to think of it as one body, three vital organs,” he said.
“We have a heart, we have a lung, and we have the brain … none of those things can survive, none of those wards can survive, without the other two wards being strong.”
Cr McCubbin acknowledged strong community support to divide the shire into three wards.
“Council’s position was in fact in the minority there,” he said.
The size of Wellington Shire may have been a factor in the VEC introducing wards, according to the mayor.
“It is very difficult, perhaps, for a councillor to have responsibility over the entire shire, and to concentrate one’s efforts on a smaller region perhaps makes a lot of sense,” he said.
Cr McCubbin also pointed to a broader move towards a three-ward structure.
As well as Wellington, the VEC recommended Bass Coast and Baw Baw shires have the structure, which has already been in place in South Gippsland.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.