Part III: The final boundaries - Kiewa Valley
- In the far north-east of Victoria the proposed boundary between Ovens Valley and Benambra districts coincided with the Alpine Shire boundary, except that part of the locality of Gundowring, containing 22 electors, was included in Benambra district even though it was in Alpine Shire.
- There were two opposing responses to this boundary. The Alpine Shire Council and three private citizens suggested that Gundowring should be included in Ovens Valley district, so that “all residents within the Alpine Shire municipality are represented under the one electorate”.
- In contrast, three residents of the Kiewa Valley (which stretches from Wodonga through Tawonga and Mount Beauty to Falls Creek) argued that their whole valley (most of which is in Alpine Shire) should be included in Benambra district. They pointed out that a highway leads down the valley directly to Wodonga (the centre of Benambra district). Residents of the valley go to Wodonga to access specialist health services and have babies, obtain their drivers licence, attend secondary and tertiary educational facilities, engage in shopping, attend cultural and sporting events, and retire into aged care facilities. A mountain range on the western side of the valley impedes travel to the west, and residents have little to do with Wangaratta.
- Local government boundaries are an important indicator of community of interest, particularly in the country. However, the EBC considers that Kiewa Valley electors have stronger connections with Wodonga than with the Ovens Valley, and so should be placed in Benambra district.