Geelong voters to elect Mayor23 Nov 2011
Legislation has been introduced by the Victorian Government to enable the people of Greater Geelong to directly elect their mayor from 2012 onwards.
The legislation provides for the direct election of the mayor by the residents and ratepayers and for the deputy mayor to be elected by the Council.
The changes will take effect once the City of Greater Geelong Amendment Bill 2011 passes through the Parliament and before the commencement of election processes in 2012.
The move follows extensive consultation with the people of Greater Geelong regarding the best model for the municipality and the legislation reflects that consultation.
While there was overwhelming support for the direct election of the mayor the situation regarding the deputy mayor was less clear. Following community consultation, the Victorian Government decided to require a deputy mayor to be elected by the Council.
The existing arrangement, with 12 Councillors elected from single member wards, will be retained in the 2012 elections.
After 2012 the Electoral Commission will conduct an electoral representation review to recommend arrangements for the election of ordinary councillors. This will limit the number of ordinary councillors to a maximum of 11 in subsequent elections.
The Mayor of Greater Geelong will have additional powers appropriate to the role. He or she will be able to appoint councillors to chair special committees of the Council as well as being able to appoint councillors to represent the Council on other bodies.
A candidate for mayor is precluded from also running for a position of ward councillor.
After the new Geelong model has been in operation for two years, a review of the direct elect mayoral systems for Melbourne and Geelong will be conducted.