Cr Mayne

Best Vic councillors who should be returned

October 11, 2020

With voters in Victoria's local government elections often confused as to who they should vote for and much of the press coverage focused on the negative, here is a positive list detailing some of the best Victorian councillors who are recontesting and should be supported.

Banyule, Tom Mellican: one of the longest serving councillors in Melbourne and always gets re-elected comfortably with barely anyone contesting his single member ward because he's so good and such a nice bloke. Puts in the hard yards, is scrupulously honest and has done a great job on multiple occasions as mayor.

Boroondara, Jane Addis: a very competent and honest mayor who is under attack by the Liberal Party in this election because she dared to move a climate emergency motion which was defeated 7-3 on May 23 this year by the conservative Tim Smith-aligned forces.

Darebin, Susan Rennie: the current independent mayor is a stand out and has been supported as mayor by her colleagues for the past two years. Has done a stellar job on gambling reform over many years but is very bright, hard working, honest and pragmatic.

Geelong, Dr Sarah Mansfield: we need more medical doctors on councils because they tend to be smart, hard working and ethical. Dr Mansfield, an endorsed Green, certainly has fit the bill in her first term on council and deserves to be re-elected.

Hume, Joseph Haweil: first elected in 2016 and was very impressed with the dedication he showed to the gambling reform issue. Works hards and doesn't get too caught up in Labor Party factional issues, despite being a member. Competing in a field of 22 and deserves to be re-elected.

Manningham, Paul McLeish: the current mayor is an independent who works hard, is scrupulously honest and is always on top of the issues. Was politicised through his past role in the Donvale Ratepayers Association but brings Wall Street smarts to the job after working for the likes of Merrill Lynch in IT for many years.

Maroondah, Kylie Spears: an independent who has impressed during her first term on council as intelligent, energetic and reasonable. Maroondah has been a very cohesive team with Liberal, Labor councillors all working well together and Kylie has contributed positively to this cohesion. Was recently elected chair of the Victorian division of ALGWA (ALGA for Women), reflecting the respect with which she's held in the sector.

Maribyrnong, Sarah Carter: Labor really should have found her a safe seat in State or Federal Parliament by now but she remains the standout performer in Maribyrnong and has served as mayor on multiple occasions.

Melbourne, Rohan Leppert: one of the smartest people I've worked with and puts in a power of work as the lead Green at City of Melbourne. Very strong on governance and transparency and surprisingly pragmatic for a Green, which makes sense given City of Melbourne's voting system always delivers at least 5 pro-business councillors who lean to the Right.

Mildura, Glenn Milne: A straight shooter who has served 7 terms as mayor and fights the good fight against poker machines as well. Should be comfortably returned.

Melton, Steve Abboushi: A Labor councillor who works in the union movement and distinguished himself running a principled campaign against Essendon Football Club getting a lease renewal at the council-owned Melton Country Club. Was very impressed with his diligence, honesty and genuine interest in reducing gambling harm when dealing with him in 2018-19.

Monash, Geoff Lake: anyone who has risen to be President of the Municipal Association of Victoria is going to be hard to beat for the title of "best councillor" on their home turf. I was impressed watching how competently Geoff chaired ALGA conferences when he chaired the national body as well. A well respected Labor Party figure who is a lawyer, the current chair of Vision Super and the former chair of the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

Whitehorse, Denise Massoud: a community-minded Liberal councillor who has impressed over her first eight years on council which has included one term as mayor. Was recently elected to the VLGA board in a contested election, reflecting the respect she has accumulated in the sector.

If you've got a view on who is the best councillor at your council, please email it through to