Council election update for candidates & councillors

November 5, 2016

Dear Councillors, Candidates and other interested players in local government,

Greetings for the first time since our last bumper email edition on October 29. If you'd rather not receive these occasional email newsletters, click here to unsubscribe.

Elections results update

Firstly, check out our 15,000 word call of the card as the VEC has now finalised results across Victoria with two exceptions.

# We don't know for sure who will be the 11th councillor in Melbourne after a challenge to Brooke Wandin's enrollment which saw Melbourne first Indigenous councillor-elect respond by not attending Wednesday's swearing in ceremony. At this point I'm happily out and have no aspirations to get back but the situation is unclear. Happily, the better half Paula Piccinini was elected in Manningham.

# Who will replace Helene Cameron in Queenscliffe after she resigned at the declaration of the poll, presumably to try and get her defeated running mate Bob Merriman, the 81 year old former chairman of Cricket Australia, back on council after he surprisingly lost.

We've been busily updating our comprehensive lists related to the election and would like to congratulate the following 26 comeback councillors who successfully returned to office after a period away. There were 93 comeback attempts so the strike rate was just below the 30% success rate enjoyed by the 2135 candidates across Victoria:

Successful comeback councillors

Henry Barlow: WyndhamSteve Beardon: Casey
Harvey Benton:
Henry Bleeck: Macedon Ranges
Kris Bolam: Frankston
David Brand: Port Phillip
Tony Briffa: Hobsons Bay
Kennett Clarke: Wangaratta (back on at 80 after a 26 year break)
Peter Clarke: Nillumbik
Sam David: Brimbank
Sally Davis: Stonnington
Don Firth: Benalla
Dick Gross: Port Phillip
Margaret Guidice: Brimbank
Bob Humm: Mitchell
Judy Hindle: Stonnington
Paul Klisaris: Monash
Cuc Lam: Maribyrnong
Kim McAliney: Wyndham
Michael McDonald: Maroondah
Paul McDonald: Maroondah
Frank Martin: Mornington
Chris Meddows-Taylor: Central Goldfields
Gerard Murphy: Central Goldfields
Steve Stephanopoulos: Stonnington
Robin Taylor: Mount Alexander
Mike Zafiropoulos: Manningham

Which political parties had the most members elected?

We've also had a lot contributors help assemble this list of more than 150 just elected Victorian councillors who are members of political parties.

The Greens are all endorsed so there's no doubting who their 29 councillors are, up from 18 before the election.

The Labor people are just shadowing the Liberals for numerical supremacy but conservatives tend to be a lot less enthusiastic about disclosing their political affiliations, particularly the Nats.

We've got 68 Labor councillors listed and these are the 14 who were defeated, as opposed to retired:

Adem Atmaca: Hume
Peter Brown: Dandenong
Jan Chantry: Moonee Valley
Michael Clarke: Maribyrnong
Roberto Colanzo: Yarra
Helen Coleman: Nillumbik
Shirley Cornish: Moonee Valley
Brian Crook: Colac Otway
Meg Downie: Manningham
Ron Egeberg: Ballarat
Richard Foster: Melbourne
Meghan Hopper: Moreland
Jeff McNeil: East Gippsland
Jane Rowe: East Gippsland

Similarly, we currently have 51 Liberal councillors listed and there are 9 we've identified so far who were defeated:

Frank Buchanan: Colac Otway
Vicki Coltman: Ballarat
Phillip Daw: Whitehorse
Jim Grivas: Manningham
Rafal Kaplon: Casey
Helen Leach: Bendigo
Mary-Anne Lowe: Maroondah
Mick Morland: Casey
Jenny Mulholland: Banyule
Gary Rowe: Casey

Keep the emails coming to so we can complete this list. There is nothing wrong with being a member of a political party and we hope Councillors don't act too factionally in local government, but transparency on this question of political association should be welcomed and thanks for all the assistance putting it together.

Who will replace Bill McArthur as MAV President?

The MAV board meets this Friday to select an interim President after the shock defeat of Bill McArthur in Golden Plains.

This is a unique opportunity for the remaining 11 directors (Nillumbik's Helen Coleman was the other defeated MAV director) to elect a female President.

In more than 100 years, the MAV has never had a female President elected for a full term, but we have seen one other interim get up.

The leading candidate looks like Boroondara's Coral Ross who is the current metropolitan vice president.

Rural vice president David Clarke is considered likely to run for President next February and some are arguing neither of the existing VPs should be given a leg up for a future presidential run.

Maybe, but at the very least the board should appoint an interim female President given its dreadful record when it comes to gender diversity at the very top.

Mayoral selection - a key decision

State-wide, we have a 50-50 split between re-elected and new councillors (excluding the comeback crew) and they have to make a key decision in terms of the mayoralty over the coming days. Six decisions have already been made and we're pumping this out on Twitter plus in the call of the card.

However, the vast majority of decisions are scheduled for next week.

There is a lot of lobbying going on right now and the most interesting question is whether all councillors get together for an informal vote, or the decision is thrashed out on the floor of the public meeting.

A united front to the public is preferred but every council is different as to whether they try and mandate the informal meeting. Smaller councils with 5 or 7 often just work out the numbers without first meeting as a group.

Interestingly, I'm picking up a trend where some councils with 7 members are doing deals which lock away the mayoralty for all 4 years if there is a ruling majority of 4. This is a recipe for factionalism and bad blood so it's better to take things one year at a time and try to include all councillors in each decision.

How will the mayoral gender split finish?

The following male mayors have already been sworn in:

Buloke: David Pollard (defeated Ellen White 4-3 in open vote on Wednesday night)
Mansfield (no contested election held): Paul Volkering (new councillor and principal of Mansfield Primary School)
Melbourne: Robert Doyle, directly elected.
Moorabool: Allan Comrie (fastest decision in the state on Wednesday last week, October 28)

With a record 38% of female councillors (up from 34% last time), can we reach a record 31 female mayors? We had just 24 female mayors this year but twice before in 2012 and 2014 we've hit 30, so the stretch target here is 31, although it would be nice to crack 40% by hitting 32.

So far, we have just two female majors formally endorsed:

Rebecca Paterson: Monash (only the second non-Labor mayor in 15 years)
Rhonda Sanderson: Mitchell Shire.

Think about these numbers as you negotiate through the weekend and into next week.

There were 16 councils which returned a majority of female councillors and it is likely that more than 12 of these will opt for a female mayor. Some of these include the likes of Brimbank, Corangamite, Maribyrnong, Moreland, Murrindindi and Yarra.

However, getting to 31 will not be easy. After making some inquiries, it seems highly likely that we will have male mayors in the following councils: Banyule, Bayside, Benalla, Frankston, Golden Plains, Greater Dandenong, Hindmarsh, Mildura, Moyne and Pyrenees.

Given the mainstream media coverage remains particularly half-hearted, we'd like to be first with the news on these mayoral decisions so please keep the tips coming to or on the mobile (0412 106 241) or through twitter @maynereport.

Thankfully, there are no all male councils but still quite a number of with just 1 or 2 females, including most of those listed above.

Keep the tips coming as we'll be winding back the coverage next week once we've got a full picture of gender mayoral selection, plus completed all the lists and the full call of the card.

This has been a massive editorial undertaking so thanks again for pitching in and remaining engaged.

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That's all for now.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

* The Mayne Report is an email newsletter and website which promotes transparency and good governance in the corporate, political and media worlds. It is published by Stephen Mayne, the founder of, shareholder advocate, ASA director and City of Melbourne councillor. To unsubscribe from this email list, click here.