.

By Luke Voogt

Geelong ratepayers have officially lost their mayoral vote after a State Government bill passed parliament last week.
“The Andrews Government has denied the right of greater Geelong voters to directly elect their municipal leaders,” said Western Victoria MP Simon Ramsay.
The City of Greater Geelong Amendment Bill 2017 abolished the direct mayoral vote after the coalition failed to garner enough upper house numbers for an amendment.
The coalition wanted Geelong to use the Melbourne model of a public vote for a mayor and deputy on the same ticket.
Labor’s bill followed the recommendations of a government-commissioned “Citizens’ Jury” in Geelong earlier this year.
The jury at first voted in favour of a directly elected mayor but had to vote again to achieve the process’s required “super majority” decision.
The second vote produced a reverse result, favouring the previous system of councillors choosing the mayor among themselves.
Mr Ramsay said the jury acted in good faith but was constrained under the government’s “parameters” on the mayoral-vote decision.
An online Democracy in Geelong survey, in conjunction with the jury, found that 59 per cent of 956 respondents wanted to keep their mayoral vote.
But Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins said the bill gave Geelong the council “it wanted”.
“This is a historic day for the city and I’m proud of everyone involved in making it happen – particularly the members of the Geelong Citizens Jury,” she said.
Under the Andrews Government changes, councillors will choose the mayor and deputy for two-year terms.
Ms Hutchins said the councillors electing the mayor would mean “a more co-operative council”.
Ratepayers will elect 11 councillors across four wards. Three wards will have three councillors and one ward will have two.
Ms Hutchins said the structure would mean better representation of local needs, increased accessibility to councillors and greater collaboration on the council.

Comments are closed.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.

More News

. ...

Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus centre received a $5 million boost from the Federal Government on Tuesday to expand its operations. ...

Police want reports of suspicious after-hours activity on building sites after recovering a “large hoard” of stolen tradie items at ...

Barwon Health’s new helipad helped save almost three lives a week across Victoria since it opened in June 2016. Almost 200 ...

Those boots might be made for walking but 300 pairs of free shoes are making a real impression in East Geelong. ...

Gary Ablett Jnr has paid an emotional tribute to the “overwhelming” support he received after the death of his sister. ...

Latest Sport

Connecting with each other is the theme to North Geelong Warriors recent road trip around the region. The under-12s ...

On the Bite, by Chris Pitman Last week’s great weather spoiled anglers for choice, with a wide range of ...

Local Cricket, by Jim Timberlake Despite another strong showing, the Geelong Cricket Club is yet to gain any points in ...

Entertainment

Adelaide songstress Michaela Burger cried when she first heard the music of Edith Piaf, beginning a lifelong obsession with the ...

Few musicians will create the fanaticism which surrounded The Beatles, but tribute artist Chris Frazer has had a small taste. ...

The Hope Song is a play like no other, according to Grovedale actor Simon Finch. The father-of-two plays Dave, a 36...