Rolling green hills, to rolling waves – wheat fields stretching beyond the horizon, to forest trees reaching to the clouds – and major cities sparkling at night, to small towns whose midnight skies effervesce above.
These are the elements that make up the Western Victoria Region that spans 70,239 square kilometres.
It is a space made up of city, urban and country landscapes. The major cities include Geelong, Ballarat and Warrnambool – where shopping, sporting, educational and health facilities are among the best in the nation.
It is a region punctuated by natural beauty – reknown around the world for locations such as the Twelve Apostles on the Southwest Shipwreck Coast, to the rock climbing capital of Mt Arapiles, near Natimuk in the north. The Grampians National Park boasts ample sites of aboriginal significance, while the Otways in the south radiate a luminous green.
The region’s dairy industry is famous, as is the Port Fairy Music Festival, Ballarat’s Begonias and gardens, Daylesford’s food, spas and retreats, the Pyrenees vineyards, the Werribee and Lerderderg Gorges, the Bacchus Marsh market gardens, Geelong’s stunning waterfront, the Bellarine’s picturesque getaways, the endless western district grazing properties and the mountainous beauty of the Great Dividing Range.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission made changes in October 2013 to the Western Victoria boundaries, which will take effect from November 2014. In large, the region has adopted a stronger north-west presence, while losing its eastern fringe to Melbourne.
St Arnaud, Wedderburn, Donald, Charlton, and Bridgewater – all previously part of the Northern Victoria Region – are now part of Western Victoria Region. While areas to Ballarat’s north east, such as Hepburn Springs, Daylesford and Kyneton are no longer part of Western Victoria – and now fit into Northern Victoria Region.
Werribee and Rockbank are lost from Western Victoria – and now embraced by the Western Metropolitan Region.