Representing Port

On October 22nd, elections will be held for the Port Phillip Council. Port Melbourne will no longer have a dedicated representative and the ward of Sandridge will cease to exist. Instead, three councillors will represent the new Gateway Ward.

These arrangements were put in place following a Victorian Electoral Commission review of representation in Port Phillip. The PMHPS argued strongly for the continuation of a single councillor to represent Port Melbourne.

The municipal entity that became Port Melbourne was first incorporated as the Borough of Sandridge on 13 July 1860. The name Sandridge refers to the large sand ridges that are said to have characterised the area at the time of settlement.

You can look at the names on the municipal electoral roll for Sandridge in 1861 for that very first election by clicking on this link. (source: City of Port Phillip)

Before Council amalgamations in 1994, Port Melbourne also had a three by three ward structure. The three wards were

  • Boundary
  • Centre
  • Sandridge

Port Melbourne has been represented by a single councillor since the first elections for the City of Port Phillip in 1996. The representatives have been

  • Liana Thompson
  • Julian Hill
  • Janet Bolitho
  • Bernadene Voss

Liana Thompson, patron of the PMHPS, was the last mayor of the City of Port Melbourne and the first mayor of the City of Port Phillip.

liana-w

PMHPS Collection

After amalgamation, the City of Port Phillip actively supported the ongoing identity as places of the three former cities of Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and St Kilda.

Gateway is not as evocative as Sandridge. It also has unfortunate associations with Gateway to the Bay – a plan by then Planning Minster Rob Maclellan for high rise development in Port Melbourne and St Kilda in the late ’90s.

It is too early to know how the new electoral arrangements will serve Port Melbourne but it seems likely that there will be a lessening of sensitivity to the particularities of Port.

The role of the Society in looking after the stories, documents, objects and photographs of Port Melbourne will become even more important.

More

Beginnings of the Borough: Celebrating 150 years of Port Melbourne

Municipal Electoral Roll for the District of Sandridge –  City of Port Phillip Heritage website

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