Petition calls for unified LGA

December 9, 2023 BY

Intervention by New York-based artist, Caroline Golden, was created using characters cut from vintage greeting cards. She said the piece can be viewed as a metaphor for the world stage. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A PETITION calling for the unification of Point Lonsdale under a single local government area has been circulating around the town, stirring up both support and opposition.

The town is presently divided between the City of Greater Geelong and the Borough of Queenscliffe.

Long-time Point Lonsdale resident, Taki – who prefers his full name not be published – said years of inaction on the issue had motivated him to take his concerns directly to state Parliament’s Legislative Council.

“We’re one town,” he said.

“We should have one vote. We should have one shire.”

He called the existing town divisions “undemocratic”, stating that residents were being saddled with diluted local representation and an inequitable division of rates.

“You don’t get a vote to say what kind of direction the town gets,” Taki said.

“The way things are is not a reasonable result and if we don’t turn up and speak up about it, then how does it change?”

The petition provides no suggestion for how to ultimately resolve the town’s boundary lines.

Greens Member for Western Victoria and former Geelong councillor Sarah Mansfield has sponsored the petition.

“Residents in Point Lonsdale have long raised frustrations created by having the boundary between the Borough of Queenscliffe and the City of Greater Geelong run through the middle of their suburb,” Dr Mansfield said.

“Given the upcoming changes to local government electorate structures, residents want the Local Government Minister to use this opportunity to consider a review of the boundaries. I’m happy to support their petition for this review to occur.”

Borough councillor Donnie Grigau, said he presently did not support the unification of Point Lonsdale because an investigation into the proposal was necessary first to determine the true outcomes and benefits of such a change.

He cited possible financial risks for the Borough associated with absorbing water management responsibility, different planning issues between the two LGAs and uncertainty around the impacts unification would have on residents’ rates, as causes for concern.

Mr Grigau said these were his personal thoughts on the issue and not reflective of the Borough’s stance.

“This issue has been brought back and forward a few times,” he said.

“On the whole it sounds very simplistic.

“The people putting forward the petition have not considered all these [factors] and if they have, bring it to the people here and let us know.”

Mr Grigau said that while he would support further investigation into the issue, the borough presently did not have the funds available to put toward such a project.

The City of Greater Geelong and the Borough of Queenscliffe were contacted for comment but had not responded as this paper went to print.