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.
The Wannon River was named by Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1836.
The electorate covers an area of more than 30,000 square kilometres, reaching from the southern coastline of Victoria in centres such as Portland, Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Port Campbell; north to the Glenelg River and from the South Australian border to the townships of Beaufort and Maryborough.
The region included within Wannon’s boundaries is often referred to as Victoria’s “Western Districts”.
The electorate’s main towns include Ararat, Avoca, Balmoral, Beaufort, Camperdown, Casterton, Dartmoor, Hamilton, Heywood, Koroit, Lismore, Macarthur, Maryborough, Mortlake, Penshurst, Port Campbell, Port Fairy, Portland, Skipton and Warrnambool.
Products and key industries that operate in the electorate include shipping, wool, sheep, beef and dairy cattle, cropping, forestry, aluminium smelting, textiles and clothing and tool manufacturing.
It is also home to a very strong tourism industry, with Wannon being the proud home of the world-famous 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. The new Flagstaff Hill maritime village and interpretive centre is also located in Wannon, in Warrnambool. This attraction has recently undergone a $5.7 million redevelopment to incorporate a spectacular sound and light show.
The historic town of Port Fairy is also within Wannon’s boundaries. This town has been one of Victoria’s most popular seaside holiday destinations in recent years.
In the centre of the electorate is Hamilton, which is widely known as the world’s wool capital. More than four million sheep are on land within a 100 kilometre radius of this grazing town. Hamilton is also considered to be the cradle of Australia’s aviation industry, with the first flight by Ansett Airlines flying from Hamilton.
Wannon also includes the spectacular Grampians National Park and Dunkeld, the historic town of Portland, Cape Bridgewater and Nelson. See the map of the Federal Electoral Division of Wannon.