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Colac Otway Shire

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Located in Victoria's south west, the Colac Otway Shire is diverse, with volcanic lakes, craters and plains in the north, the hinterland forests of the Otway Ranges and the Great Ocean Road coastline.

Colac City is situated beside Lake Colac, on the Princes Highway, 138 kms south west of Melbourne, 74 kms south west of Geelong, and 101 kms south of Ballarat. The Colac region supports a network of over 1200 businesses and well over 800 farms.

The main industries are dairy, beef, sheep, crops, specified pastures, horticulture and organic farming; timber, manufacturing and service, construction, retail and wholesale.

Tourism, centring on the Great Ocean Road and the coastline, is becoming increasingly important.

Colac Otway is part of the Large Shire council grouping and can be compared with similar councils. More information on council groupings can be found here.

Victoria in Future 

Colac Otway - Victoria in Future 2016 

Aboriginal Community Profile

Colac Otway Aboriginal Community Profile (includes Aboriginal organisations) 


Aire Valley, Alvie, Apollo Bay, Balintore, Barongarook, Barongarook West, Barramunga, Barwon Downs, Beeac, Beech Forest, Birregurra, Bungador, Cape Otway, Carlisle River, Carpendeit, Chapple Vale, Colac, Colac East, Colac West, Coragulac, Cororooke, Corunnun, Cressy, Cundare, Cundare North, Dreeite, Dreeite South, Elliminyt, Eurack, Ferguson, Forrest, Gellibrand, Gellibrand Lower, Gerangamete, Glenaire, Grey River, Horden Vale, Irrewarra, Irrewillipe, Irrewillipe West, Jancourt East, Johanna, Kawarren, Kennedys Creek, Kennett River, Larpent, Lavers Hill, Marengo, Mount Sabine, Murroon, Nalangil, Ombersley, Ondit, Pennyroyal, Petticoat Creek, Pirron Yallock, Separation Creek, Simpson, Skenes Creek, Skenes Creek North, Stonyford, Sugarloaf, Swan Marsh, Tanybryn, Warncoort, Warrion, Weeaproinah, Weering, Whoorel, Winchelsea, Wingeel, Wongarra, Wool Wool, Wye River, Wyelangta, Yeo, Yeodene and Yuulong.

For a detailed map showing shire boundaries and locality names, visit VICNAMES.

Community Satisfaction

Colac Otway Shire Council Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey Results 

Annual Report

Colac Otway Shire Council Annual Report 2017/18


Colac Otway Shire Council is an unsubdivided municipality consisting of 7 councillors.

Councillors are elected through proportional representation voting. Since 2008, all Victorian councillors serve a four year term. The next general election is in October 2020.

Visit the Guide for more information on Council Elections.
Visit the Victorian Electoral Commission for more elections details.


7 Councillors elected in October 2016.


Unsubdivided - Cr Stephen Hart

Unsubdivided - Cr Chris Smith

Unsubdivided - Cr Brian Cook

Unsubdivided - Cr Kate Hanson

Unsubdivided - Cr Joe McCracken - Deputy Mayor

Unsubdivided - Cr Chris Potter 

Unsubdivided - Cr Jason Schram - Mayor



Population data

Estimated resident population. Source: Victoria in Future 2016 - Population and Household Projections to 2031

  • 2016 20,142  
  • 2021 19,942  
  • 2026 19,918  
  • 2031 19,969  


Source: Victoria Grants Commission.
The figures in the bottom two rows of the table show combined one-off and ongoing funding received by council from both the Federal and State Governments. It is important to note that this amount can change significantly from year to year as individual government funding programs change and natural events such as fires and floods occur.

Data shows the amount allocated in respect of the relevant financial year. In some years, that amount will vary from the payments received that year, as a result of the Commonwealth "bringing forward" some payments.

  2017-18 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10
Recurrent Expenditure ($) 50.107m 46.068m 44.515m 42.919m 41.434m 41.237m 37.759m 37.745m 36.533m
Recurrent Revenue ($) 52.326m 50.637m 45.960m 54.412m 43.789m 44.295m 43.485m 40.051m 38.504m
- Rates and Charges 29.507m 29.078m 27.614m 26.631m 25.055m 23.349m 21.789m 18.214m 18.742m
- VGC Grants 6.104m 6.017m 5.984m 5.985m 5.907m 5.726m 5.799m 5.583m 5.163m
Non-Recurrent Government Grants
Recurrent Government Grants

Check council performance

View Colac Otway Shire's performance across a wide range of service areas

View Performance