The Wannon electorate has existed since Federation in 1901. It was named after the Wannon River, which runs through the electorate’s centre, just north of Hamilton.
Sir Thomas Mitchell named the Wannon River in 1836.
The electorate covers an area of more than 33,500 square kilometres, reaching from the southern coastline of Victoria in centres such as Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Apollo Bay, Lorne, Portland, Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Port Campbell; north to the Glenelg River and from the South Australian border to the townships of Beaufort, Skipton and Winchelsea.
The region included within Wannon’s boundaries is often referred to as Victoria’s “Western District”.
The electorate of Wannon consists of:
- Ararat Rural City Council,
- Colac Otway Shire Council,
- Corangamite Shire Council,
- Glenelg Shire Council,
- Moyne Shire Council,
- Southern Grampians Shire Council,
- Warrnambool City Council,
- part of the Golden Plains Shire Council,
- part of the Northern Grampians Shire Council,
- part of the Pyrenees Shire Council, and
- part of the Surf Coast Shire Council.
The electorate’s main towns include Aireys Inlet, Alvie, Anglesea, Apollo Bay, Ararat, Balmoral, Beaufort, Beeac, Birregurra, Camperdown, Casterton, Colac, Cressy, Dartmoor, Forrest, Gellibrand, Hamilton, Heywood, Koroit, Lavers Hill, Lismore, Lorne, Macarthur, Mortlake, Penshurst, Port Campbell, Port Fairy, Portland, Rokewood, Skipton, Warrnambool and Winchelsea.
The Grampians, Great Ocean, Road, Twelve Apostles, Volcanic Plains, the Ramsar listed Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay, The Otways, and the World Heritage Listed Budj Bim Cultural landscape dominate our natural landscape.
Wannon is notable for its diverse range of industries including agriculture (wool, sheep, beef, dairy cattle, cropping), fishing, forestry, viticulture, aluminium smelting, clothing and tool manufacturing, retail and tourism.
Other developing economic sectors include mining, commercial aquaculture and recreational fishing, education, research, a growing professional and service economy and alternative energy production.
Wannon (Hamilton) is also considered to be the cradle of Australia’s aviation industry, with the first flight by Ansett Airlines flying from Hamilton.