Dr Fidge to appeal, against the process
FORMER Wangaratta councillor and unsuccessful candidate in Monday’s recount of votes Dr Julian Fidge has confirmed he will appeal the process which found him in last place.
Dr Fidge polled well with first preference votes at the regular 2016 municipal election, however, the recount process did not afford him or any other candidate their previous votes.
“This has been an issue for a long time and in the 2014 electoral review the Municipal Association of Victoria and others put it to the reform, and the panel recommended the countback process be amended,” he said.
“It’s the comments that go towards it which explain why it’s a problem.
“I will appeal this decision and this is the opposite of democracy and everyone who voted for me has been disenfranchised, their votes are allowed to be counted.
“The Victorian Constitution says that councillors have to be democratically elected and this is not a democracy.”
If, after Dr Fidge’s appeal, it finds that Cr Ashlee Fitzpatrick should maintain her position on council he said he will welcome it.
“Of course (I would welcome her). It’s great to have gender balance and we need more women to participate and I actively encouraged Ruth Amery to participate,” he said.
“This has nothing to do with Ashlee, this is about democracy.”
Dr Fidge was part of the council which was dismissed in 2013, preceding an administration period of three years.