Victoria Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell
Direct Democracy Delivered For Greater Geelong
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered on its election pledge to enable the people of Greater Geelong to directly elect their mayor at the 2012 local government elections.
The City of Greater Geelong Amendment Bill 2011 which passed the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament this afternoon provides for the direct election of the mayor by the residents and ratepayers and for the deputy mayor to be elected by the councillors of Greater Geelong.
“Giving the people of Greater Geelong the opportunity to directly elect their mayor is an important step in the evolution of Victoria’s second most populous city.” Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell said.
“The people of Greater Geelong campaigned for the right to directly elect their mayor and I’m delighted to be delivering yet another Victorian Coalition election promise.”
“The final model that was adopted for the City of Greater Geelong Amendment Bill 2011 was based on extensive consultation with the people of Greater Geelong.”
“Our comprehensive consultation process found there was overwhelming support for the direct election of the mayor whereas people were more ambiguous about the direct election of the deputy mayor.”
As a consequence it was decided to retain the current system whereby the deputy mayor is elected by their fellow councillors on a rotating basis.” Mrs. Powell said.
The 12 individual wards for Greater Geelong will also be retained for this year’s local government elections on October 27, which will see the number of councillors, including the mayor, increase to 13. After 2012 the Electoral Commission will conduct an electoral representation review to recommend arrangements to return the number of elected members to 12 i.e. 11 ordinary councillors and the mayor.
The Mayor of Greater Geelong will have additional powers he or she will be able to appoint councillors to chair special committees of the Council as well as being able to appoint councillors to represent the Council on other bodies. A candidate for mayor is precluded from also running for a position of ward councillor.
“The people of Geelong will have their say on who should be their mayor on October 27th this year and I wish them well.” Mrs. Powell said.