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Colac Otway Shire

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Located in Victoria’s south west, 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 is situated beside Lake Colac, on the Princes Highway, 160 kms west of Melbourne and within a commutable distance from Geelong. The Shire is built on agriculture, manufacturing and tourism with employment growing in the health sector.

Diverse industries include dairy, beef, sheep, crops, specified pastures, horticulture and organic farming; timber, manufacturing and service, construction and retail.

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.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Demographics

Region Summary - Colac Otway

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 2020/21


For further information regarding Local Government elections visit:


7 Councillors elected in October 2020.


Unsubdivided - Cr Stephen Hart

Unsubdivided - Cr Jamie Bell

Unsubdivided - Cr Graham Costlin - Deputy Mayor

Unsubdivided - Cr Kate Hanson - Mayor

Unsubdivided - Cr Joe McCracken 

Unsubdivided - Cr Chris Potter 

Unsubdivided - Cr Margaret White



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.

  2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13 2011-12
Recurrent Expenditure ($) 54.741m 55.585m 54.599m 50.107m 46.068m 44.515m 42.919m 41.434m 41.237m 37.759m
Recurrent Revenue ($) 60.865m 56.272m 61.368m 52.326m 50.637m 45.960m 54.412m 43.789m 44.295m 43.485m
- Rates and Charges 31.914m 31.366m 30.905m 29.507m 29.078m 27.614m 26.631m 25.055m 23.349m 21.789m
- VGC Grants 6.997m 6.942m 6.715m 6.104m 6.017m 5.984m 5.985m 5.907m 5.726m 5.799m
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