Full call of the card for Vic council elections


June 19, 2019

This list tracks ward structures, nominations, retirements, defeats, results, mayoral selection and some of the key issues in the 2016 Victorian council elections. Feel free to email your thoughts to stephen@maynereport.com or tweet us @maynereport.

Firstly, thanks to the MAV for producing this fabulous 3 page compilation of interesting data on the election results, which has assisted our qualitative list, particularly with data on retirements and defeats.

Alpine Shire Council:
7 spots, no wards. 13 candidates. 1 retirement, 1 defeat. See results. 5-2 male majority.
Jan Vonarx is the only retiree after 3 terms so that leaves 5 blokes and 1 female incumbent contesting, up against 7 challengers. Let's hope at least one of the challenging females - Narda, Kitty or Sarah - get over the line. All 3 are said to be quite capable. The best of the incumbents - Ron Janas, Tony Keeble, John Forsyth and Peter Roper - are all likely to be returned and did indeed win the first 4 spots. Comeback candidate Narda Cain fell short but the two other females were elected for a repeat 5-2 male majority. Ron Janas was the last mayor and got the nod again on November 8 at the mayoral selection council meeting.
Ararat Rural City Council:
7 spots, no wards. 13 candidates. 1 retirement, 3 defeats. See results. 4-3 male majority.
Colin McKenzie is the only retiree (health issues) leaving a 3-3 gender split with the incumbents recontesting. Gary and Fay Hull are both seeking another term but aren't related. The majority are very Ararat-focused, arguably at the expense of the rural areas but Paul Hooper is regarded as one of the best. Amongst the challengers, Jo Armstrong looks the most likely prospect and deserves support. Jo and Paul topped the vote and the new council has a 4-3 male majority, retaining the status quo. Indeed, Jo scored 24.8%, one of the most impressive challenging votes in the state. Why not make her mayor straight away? Then again, Paul Hooper has been mayor the past 3 years and is in the top 10 incumbents state-wide in terms of mayoral terms overall, so he's obviously pretty good and that's what they did.

Ballarat City Council:
9 spots, 3 wards of 3. 28 candidates. 0 retirements, 4 defeats. See results. 6-3 male majority.
Not many lefties in Ballarat. Green Belinda Coates did well as the only progressive in a conservative council, leveraging the deputy mayor position from the fighting Liberals. She deserves a second term and got it. Vicky Coltman, whose husband ran locally for the Liberals in the state election, was the leading Liberal on council but Amy Johnston is also well known. The incumbent Councillors are on the nose with some, due to a 22.5% rate increase over four years and continuing controversies about the 2012 election when the Ballarat branch of the Liberal Party ran several members as Independents (Johnson included, as well as former Mayor Joshua Morris) to gain a 6-3 voting bloc majority on Council. In Central ward Labor's Ron Egeberg and impressive Liberal Sam McIntosh are regarded as two strong candidates likely to win, although Egeberg ended up bombing out badly. McIntosh romped home. In South Ward, out-going Labor mayor Mayor Des Hudson was said to be in danger of being voted out after 16 years due to a strong field of 12 and fading popularity. We were badly wrong here as he topped the polls and was comfortably re-elected. In North Ward, a young 'Darkhorse' Rob Smith is challenging both incumbent Councillors and Amy Johnson is under pressure having voted to relocate the Saleyards to Miners Rest which has caused an uprising of 2 Miners Rest-based candidates running to overthrow the existing North Ward Councillors. In the end, the dark horse bombed and Amy Johnson surged home comfortably. Shame to see a 6-3 male majority but all up the incumbents did quite well, with the exception of Vicki Coltman. The biggest vote of all went to independent local doctor Mark Harris. We like the sound of him in this Ballarat Courier article. Why not make him mayor? Des Hudson was mayor last year. The final numbers finished with 3 card carrying Liberals (Amy Johnson, Ben Taylor and Sam McIntosh), 2 Labor (Des Hudson and Daniel Moloney), the Green Belinda Coates and 3 independents who tend to lean conservative. Hence it was no surprise when Liberal Samantha McIntosh was elected mayor, but there's more risk of the bad blood that flowed 4 years ago.

Banyule City Council:
7 vacancies, 7 wards. 19 candidates. 1 retirement, 1 defeat. See results. 6-1 male majority.
Two of the seven wards were uncontested, probably reflecting the extra effort required with attendance voting and single member wards. Liberal Jenny Mulholland faced the largest field in the wealthiest part of the locality taking in Eaglemont and Ivanhoe. Another Liberal Steve Briffa exited last term to run in the state election but his printing business is keeping busy supporting Liberals in the area, including in neighbouring Nillumbik. Tom Mellican, Wayne Phillips and mayor Craig Langdon all cantered home but the Green Peter Castaldo beat Jenny Mulholland in Griffin ward, based around leafy Ivanhoe, with 57.3% of the 2PP aided by this "fake Liberal" candidate who was supported by mayor Craig Langdon, who is no fan of Jenny's. The Banyule mayor has long had a stormy relationship with Cr Mulholland, but it is pretty dodgy to call yourself a Liberal and then deliver victory to the Greens with this how to vote card. Banyule has definitely shifted Left with this result but can Langdon repeat his 3 years out of 4 political magic on the mayoralty. Given the bad blood with Jenny Mulholland, Tom Mellican got the mayoral nod and was a good choice.

* Bass Coast Shire Council
9 spots, 3 wards of 3. 21 candidates. 2 retirements, 4 defeats. See results.
Phillip Island is a big issue with a chaotic secessionist movement up and running, backed by a biased local paper. Five of the 9 candidates on the new 3 member Island ward want separation from Bass Coast, under the guise of the Phillip Island Progress Association. Two were elected and it was a shame to see impressive incumbent Kimberley Brown defeated. The overly negative Phil Wright (see his farewell article) also departed with a primary of just 5% and in the end only one incumbent survived. We also now have a blokey 7-2 combination in charge. What now for the secessionists given both sides of State politics don't support separation from Bass Coast? Our disparaging comments about the Phillip Island secessionists has attracted plenty of attention and we particularly liked this musical performance by one of the candidates supporting staying with the mainlanders. The female mayor didn't recontest so most likely to see a male replacement. Ultimately, this was one of the biggest shake-outs across Victoria so it will be interesting to see how the secessionist councillors play it going forward. Newcomer Pamela Rothfield is the mayor, one of 32 females across the state.

* Baw Baw Shire Council 9 spots, and 3 wards of 3. 21 candidates. 2 retirements, 1 defeat. See results.
Baw Baw has 4 councillors attempting to be re-elected - Peter Kostas, Deborah Brown, Trisha Jones and Mikaela Power - and Gerard Murphy has decided to run in Central Goldfield after delivering a poor attendance record at Baw Baw. They were all returned comfortably except for Deborah Brown who was unlucky to lose with an 18% primary vote. The 2016 Community Satisfaction Survey has slipped to one of the worst in the state with 6/7 indicators at just 50% or below and showing a continued downward slide over the past 3 years. "We've just begun" and "there's more to be done" slogans are ringing a bit hollow, but the incumbents weren't cleaned out. The new council has a 6-3 male majority. Joe Gauci was mayor last time and he did narrowly top the primaries in his ward but was only 3rd elected, so hardly a huge mandate for going back to back. That said, his colleagues elected him as a back to back mayor.

* Bayside City Council
7 spots, 1 ward of 3 and 2 wards of 2. 33 candidates. 2 retirements, 1 defeats. See results.
The field looks interesting with a potential soap opera developing because former Liberal Councillor Stephen Hartney is running again. He was on council for 12 months then left abruptly to be a staffer for Federal Liberal MP Jason Wood. Hartney's former wife Hana Hartney and current partner Sonia Castelli are both running in a different ward, supporting Cr James Long, who has taken on Sonia as a lodger, hence her presence on the electoral roll. See Herald Sun wrap of these "only in Brighton" proceedings. It might have been time for James Long to retire, something that Liberal Felicity Frederico has chosen to do this time around. However, Long got back easily, as did his lodger Sonia, but her boyfriend Hartney missed out. The longest serving councillor, Alex Del Porto, who stood as an independent against Louise Asher in Brighton in 1999, was comfortably returned along with popular stockbroker Michael Heffernan in the ward which Hartney contested. Hartney threw everything at Heffernan who topped the vote with 28% against just 11.8% for the returning Liberal challenger. Another independent Clarke Martin did well taking on veteran Liberal Murray Thompson in the safe seat of Sandringham at the last state election. He's been prominent over the Beaumaris school site and, with the benefit of the donkey vote, dominated with an impressive 27% primary. The other prospective challenger is Liberal member Rob Grinter, an impressive businessman who led the Hampton Traders Association and is campaigning hard. He won and will be good, provided he can make the time away from his business. James Long was the last mayor and with a disappointing 6-1 male majority, it could be years before we get another female mayor in Bayside. Veteran Alex Del Porto was elected mayor.

* Benalla Rural City Council 7 spots, no wards. 20 candidates. 2 retirements, 3 defeats. See results.
A 4-3 female majority with 2 retirements - mayor Justin King and Suzy Martin - leaving 5 incumbents facing 15 challengers in an undivided electorate. The field spits 13-7 male so there's a lot of blokes challenging female incumbents here. The 3 contesting female incumbents are worth supporting, although Cr Andrew Vale, from a property developer family, is under pressure after only attending 72% of meetings. The out-going mayor Justin King, 30, will be missed after doing a good job. He's just landed a full time job with the Education Department working in the disability space. Of the challenging candidates, car dealer Danny Claridge and Alison Ballard look the best of them. Don Firth is attempting a comeback but is a bit negative so suggest looking elsewhere. In the end, Andrew Vale was ousted, but Don Firth did pull off his comeback and then landed the mayoralty. A 4-3 female majority has moved decisively the other way to be 6-1 male dominated. Not good at all for the female incumbents as only Barb Alexander got back.

Greater Bendigo City Council
9 spots, 3 wards of 3 and 32 candidates. See results at 5pm Saturday.
Veterans Rod Fyffe and Barry Lyons are the two councillors to see if you want to get things done in Bendigo, but only Rod Fyffe lived to fight another day. Cr Fyffe is regarded as Labor friendly and has probably supported MAV President Bill McArthur for too long, although Bill was defeated in Golden Plains. Good to see the back of anti-Mosque campaigner Elise Chapman, who was