Stand and de­liver

Geelong Advertiser - - YOUR SAY - Daryl McLURE daryl.mclure7@big­pond.com

WITH slightly more than a month be­fore City of Greater Gee­long coun­cil postal vot­ing closes on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 27, around 30 peo­ple have an­nounced they will stand for elec­tion.

About half — a Mel­bourne Cup field — will do bat­tle for the two seats in the cen­tral Brown­bill Ward, while the other three wards, Win­der­mere, Kar­dinia and Bel­lar­ine, each with three seats, to date have at­tracted a hand­ful of can­di­dates.

Of­fi­cial nom­i­na­tions open on Thurs­day and close the fol­low­ing Tues­day, while bal­lot packs will be mailed out be­tween Oc­to­ber 10 and 12 and vot­ing will close on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 27.

It does seem ex­tra­or­di­nary that while vot­ers will be able to elect a new coun­cil fol­low­ing the sack­ing of our pre­vi­ously elected body nearly two years ago, the State Gov­ern­ment has ap­pointed two peo­ple to “mon­i­tor” the new elected body.

For­mer Com­mit­tee for Gee­long CEO — and one of the three coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tors ap­pointed fol­low­ing the sack­ing of the coun­cil — Pe­ter Dor­ling, and for­mer com­mis­sion of in­quiry mem­ber Jude Munro will be paid $1200 a day each to keep an eye on our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

There are some very good can­di­dates stand­ing for elec­tion, peo­ple with wide com­mu­nity ser­vice and busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence.

Five mem­bers of the pre­vi­ous coun­cil have also an­nounced they will stand and two for­mer coun­cil­lors the pre and early posta­mal­ga­ma­tion eras.

Vot­ers have the op­por­tu­nity to de­cide whether to elect a com­pletely new coun­cil or a mix of ex­pe­ri­ence and new blood.

I think it im­por­tant for vot­ers to be aware that coun­cil is a $400 mil­lion a year busi­ness be­ing man­aged on be­half of ratepay­ers: in short it is our money be­ing held in trust and to be spent to our ben­e­fit.

Can­di­dates should also be open about their pol­i­tics — or their in­de­pen­dence from po­lit­i­cal par­ties — so that vot­ers know who and what they are vot­ing for.

We don’t want po­lit­i­cal ide­al­o­gogues — well I don’t any­way — wast­ing our money on their pet causes.

On the other hand, to be fair, if peo­ple do run with is­sues, such as chang­ing Aus­tralia Day for ex­am­ple, and are elected, they do have a right to ar­gue for them in coun­cil.

But if they do not put them be­fore vot­ers dur­ing their cam­paigns, too bad.

Also, I still be­lieve vot­ers should be told which for­mer coun­cil­lors were in­volved in bul­ly­ing or caused the dys­func­tion that led to the sack­ing of the pre­vi­ous coun­cil

What hap­pens if we in­ad­ver­tently elect some of those peo­ple again?

Surely the State Gov­ern­ment, if it has spent and is spend­ing ratepayer money on a com­mis­sion of in­quiry, coun­cil sack­ing, ad­min­is­tra­tors and now mon­i­tors and new elec­tions, has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that peo­ple

whose ac­tions led to this ex­pen­di­ture do not get elected again?

Let’s hope our coun­cil elec­tions will de­liver the coun­cil we need to work with Deakin Univer­sity, the Gor­don In­sti­tute of TAFE and other stake­hold­ers to re­duce poverty and un­em­ploy­ment and en­hance and de­liver on the longheld vi­sion for a vi­brant city and re­gion suc­cess­fully tran­si­tion­ing to a knowl­edge econ­omy.

I just hope we elect the peo­ple who can help re­alise Gee­long’s po­ten­tial.

Jude Munro and Pe­ter Dor­ling.

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