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Surf Coast Shire

The Surf Coast Shire (website) is among the fastest growing regional municipalities in Victoria (av. 3.06% annually for past 15 years). The Shire was proclaimed on 9 March 1994. It covers an area of 1,560 km2.

It is popular both as a permanent place to live and as a second home. The main population centres include Torquay, well known for its surf related industries and Bells Beach, Winchelsea, gateway to the fertile Western District, leafy Anglesea and the beautiful resort town of Lorne (see map below – click on it for a larger version that is not compressed horizontally).

The Eastern View, Moggs Creek, Fairhaven and Aireys Inlet communities lie on the Great Ocean Road between Lorne and Anglesea

With its spectacular coastline, scenic rainforests and magnificent beaches, Victoria’s Surf Coast is one of the tourist draw cards of Australia and large numbers of holidaymakers and visitors stay in the Shire at peak season. The Great Ocean Road, which starts in Torquay, attracts over 2.5 million travellers annually.

The permanent population is 24,124 (2006 Census) which more than trebles at peak holiday times.

Local Councillors

Local council elections happen every four years on the fourth Saturday in October.

The Electoral Structure of the Surf Coast Shire will change at the 2024 elections. It is currently is divided into four wards but in future will have three wards each with three Councillors. The wards will be known as Winchelsea Ward, Torquay Ward and Otways Ranges Ward. The changes were made following changes to the Local Government Act 2020 that introduced new rules designed to ensure each ward would have a similar number of voters.


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