New council ward map means big changes for Sunbury

Sunbury will be split into two wards under changes announced by the Labor government. Following the Hume City Council elections in October, the town will have two councillors instead of three.

The current Jacksons Creek ward with three councillors will be replaced by two new wards, Jacksons Hill and Emu Creek, with one councillor each.

Sunbury is currently served by Cllrs Jack Medcraft, Trevor Dance, and Jarrod Bell.

Cllr Medcraft, who says he intends to stand for re-election, says the town is going to lose out under the changes.

“We have a bigger population now, and they are cutting representation back from three to two,” he says. “I can’t believe what they are doing.

“This is a premeditated event by the government to control the council. I think that’s how they are working it.

“The government is always trying to make sure the council works for them. Especially Labor councillors. They stack the councils with Labor Party members. It restricts us for independence.

“It is very hard to get elected on a one councillor ward. It is going to be very interesting to see the calibre of candidates come the October election. That worries me. Who’s going to get up? What are they going to be like? Is the council going to be functional..?”

Cllr Dance says: “The Allan government has diluted the people’s representation totally. Toxic soil, no Vic Roads maintenance. The only good news is that Bulla was not separated after submissions I and some others put in put to the Electoral Representation Advisory Panel.”

And as for standing for re-election in October, Cllr Dance says: “I’ll have to. The town needs independent representation on council.”

Cllr Bell says: “I am disappointed to lose the multi-member ward structure, which I think provided better democratic outcomes.

“The redrawn boundaries provide a new opportunity for real, local, and active representation, something I am excited about. A lot has been done, but there is more to do.”

Cllr Bell says he will also be seeking re-election.

Minister for Local Government Melissa Horne, in announcing the changes, says they “…will ensure councils are more reflective of the communities they represent”.

Hume City Council currently has three wards with 11 councillors. The new ward map will have 11 wards with one councillor each.

Ward names will be (see map below):

  1. Aitken (15,072 voters; sqr km: 11.5 )
  2. Bababi Marning (16,694 voters; sqr km: 20.3)
  3. Burt-kur-min (14,608 voters; sqr km: 9.7)
  4. Emu Creek (15,961 voters; sqr km: 163.7)
  5. Jacksons Hill (16,796 voters; sqr km: 79.8)
  6. Merlynston Creek (17,039 voters; sqr km: 15.1)
  7. Mount Ridley (15,002 voters; sqr km: 45.1)
  8. Roxburgh Park (15,138 voters; sqr km: 12)
  9. Tullamarine (16,402 voters; sqr km: 44.8)
  10. Woodlands (14,520 voters; sqr km: 54.8)
  11. Yubup (13,036 voters; sqr km: 46.5)

Download the full Local Council Electoral Structure Review here.

What Hume City’s new ward boundaries will look like. Image / Supplied.

Sunbury Life has previously reported on the changes here.