Liberals’ mayor promise: You’ll choose

Hamish Heard
A local Liberal candidate yesterday stepped up calls for a popularly-elected mayor because Geelong’s council had become a Labor “cheerleader”.
Candidate for Geelong Scott Dixon accused Mayor Peter Mc-Mullin of “toeing the Labor party line” at the expense of residents.
Mr Dixon’s calls came as shadow local government minister John Vogels confirmed to the Independent a Baillieu-led government would introduce directly-elected four-year mayoral terms in Geelong.
“The people of Geelong would be sick-to-death of every 12 months putting up with secret deals between mates and ALP factions deciding who would be the next mayor,” Mr Vogels said.
Cr McMullin, an ALP member, mounted an unsuccessful bid to win the seat of Corangamite at the last federal election.
Mr Dixon accused Cr McMul-lin of blindly accepting the Bracks Government’s decision on the route for the third stage of Geelong’s bypass despite a community backlash and earlier council opposition.
“He’s endorsing an option which will create traffic chaos, isolate communities and make for nightmare connections to the Princes Highway and eventually, if at all, the Surf Coast Highway.”
Mr Dixon said the Mayor’s bypass backflip “proved” Gee-long’s council had become an arm of the Bracks Government.
Cr McMullin called Mr Dixon’s claims a “cowardly political attack”.
“I’m just getting on with the job of advocating for Geelong 24 hours a day, seven days-a-week,” Cr McMullin said.
“I won’t be diverted by these sorts of attacks in an election environment.”
However, Cr McMullin agreed the policy for popular election of Geelong mayors was “worthy of consideration”.
“I’ve consistently advocated for a review of governance structures in Geelong,” he said.
Cr McMullin refused to rule out standing for ALP preselection again.
“I haven’t made up my mind on that,” he said.