If you go to the City of Greater Bendigo website, and look up council elections, you will read that the last elections were held in November 2008 and the next will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2012.
According to this information, “The City of Greater Bendigo is subdivided into nine wards and a councillor is elected to represent each ward.”
That, of course, is no longer the case, and the Victorian Electoral Commission updates that information with the note about the representation review which occurred since the last election, dividing the electorate into three wards which will each elect three councillors.
Whipstick Ward, which covers the area from Elmore and Drummartin through to East Bendigo and North Bendigo, has also swallowed up the fiercely proud borough of Eaglehawk, whose sitting councillor Peter Cox has again put his hat in the ring.
Cr Lisa Ruffell is also running again, in Whipstick, which has the least number of candidates, with five in total, including James Williams, Elaine Harrington and Jennifer Mitchell Sharp.
Eppalock Ward also covers a big area, running from Heathcote in the east, to Junortoun in the north, through into the near CBD suburbs of Strathdale and Kennington in the west and down to Redesdale in the south.
Running in Eppalock are incumbent councillors Alec Sandner and former mayor Rod Campbell, together with Mark Weragoda, Wayne McKay, George Flack, Helen Leach, Stuart Fraser, Tim Bardsley and Julian Poloniato.
Lockwood covers a smaller region, but it’s still a large area for councillors who may have previously enjoyed strong support in their electorate, to cover.
From Marong in the north, across to Quarry Hill in the east, it threads down the centre of Bendigo through Golden Square, Kangaroo Flat and out to Ravenswood.
Three sitting councillors are vying for the three positions along with four other nominating candidates. The current councillors are Rod Fyffe, Barry Lyons and Bruce Phillips, who are joined by Karen Corr, Wendy Radford, Karel Zegers and Elise Chapman.
Candidates’ statements were lodged on Wednesday with their indication of preferences due today (Friday, September 28) at noon.
According to election-watchers, those preferences may well be crucial in this year’s result.
Candidates’ statements, along with preferences, will be printed, probably by Monday, when a copy will be available for viewing at the election office, on the first floor of Beehive Plaza, 18 Pall Mall.
They will also be available, once they have been printed, on the VEC website.
Everyone on the roll on Friday, August 31 will be mailed a ballot pack in the second week of October, and papers should be mailed back to be at the election office no later than Friday, October 26.
Returning Officer Tony McDowell said hand-delivered voting papers must be returned with the envelope as well as the ballot paper.
Mr McDowell said a few people have already visited the office to vote, because they are about to leave for trips or have other reasons for not being able to receive their ballot papers in the mail.
The results should be known late on Sunday, October 27.
Candidates in ballot draw order
1. CAMPBELL, Rod
2. WERAGODA, Mark
3. McKAY, Wayne
5. LEACH, Helen
6. POLONIATO, Julian
7. BARDSLEY, Tim
8. FLACK, George
9. FRASER, Stuart
1. CHAPMAN, Elise
2. PHILLIPS, Bruce
3. ZEGERS, Karel
4. LYONS, Barry
5. RADFORD, Wendy
6. FYFFE, Rod
7. CORR, Karen
1. RUFFELL, Lisa
2. MITCHELL-SHARP, Jennifer J
3. WILLIAMS, James
4. COX, Peter
5. HARRINGTON, Elaine