Moyhu finds its place on map it never left

Happy Moyhu residents Justin Ritchens-Hall, 10, Jarrod Ritchens-Hall, 12, Kylie Ritchens-Hall, Jane Ritchens-Hall, 5, Jewel Ritchens-Hall, 7 months, and Jena Ritchens-Hall, 8, near the town sign. Picture: KYLIE Esler

Happy Moyhu residents Justin Ritchens-Hall, 10, Jarrod Ritchens-Hall, 12, Kylie Ritchens-Hall, Jane Ritchens-Hall, 5, Jewel Ritchens-Hall, 7 months, and Jena Ritchens-Hall, 8, near the town sign. Picture: KYLIE Esler

THE Moyhu township is back on the map ... or, more correctly, was never off it.

Media reports a couple of years ago the small village south of Wangaratta had lost its “township” status with the Australian Bureau of Statistics had inflamed anger among locals.

Moyhu, along with several other small communities with about 200 people, had apparently been dropped from the bureau urban centres and localities profile.

Those reports sparked an angry response from the Moyhu Action Group, which approached politicians and the Wangaratta Council about the issue.

Action group member Neil Jarrott said the speculation caused a great deal of angst in the community, particularly with government funding sometimes tied to township status.

Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, has since had the situation clarified with the bureau, which has told her it does not play any role in determining whether a centre is defined as a “town”.

Information sent to Ms McGowan by the bureau said: “A place can be called a town without being on the list of urban centres and localities that is maintained by the bureau for statistical purposes.

“The bureau certainly understands there are many small communities that people would consider a town and are indeed represented on the map, as is Moyhu.”

The urban centre and locality structure used by the bureau represents a statistical classification of population centres with more than 200 usual residents, purely for the purpose of dissemination of census statistics.

That has been the case since the 1966 census and has never changed.

Ms McGowan was told the Bureau of Statistics had never made a distinction in this structure for terms, including hamlets, villages or towns.

Mr Jarrott said Moyhu had more than 200 residents.

The bureau urban centre and locality list is revised after each census.

Centres that fall below the threshold of 200 residents may be omitted from the structure, although the bureau said this was purely a statistical consideration.

Conversely, identified centres that have had an increase to more than 200 residents may be added to the list.

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