New Geelong Council A Step Closer Despite Liberal Lies

26 May 2017

The Legislative Assembly has passed the City of Greater Geelong Amendment Bill 2017, bringing the Geelong Citizens Jury’s recommendations one step closer to being implemented.

The Bill, which passed the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, despite being opposed by the Liberals and Nationals, will implement the council structure the Geelong community wants if it passes the Legislative Council where it is expected to be considered in early June.

This brings the Government’s implementation of the Geelong Citizen's Jury's recommendations for a new structure for the City of Greater Geelong one step closer.

In an Australian first, the Citizen’s Jury put local residents at the forefront of the decision-making process, letting them determine how their new council should be designed. The representative structure in the Bill is the structure proposed by the jury.

That’s why is was so disappointing to hear Member for South Barwon, Andrew Katos, criticise the citizens jury, in the Parliament this week:

“I will touch on the citizens jury. I am of the firm belief that the citizens jury was led in particular directions by this government. You cannot get a better indication of that than the vote about whether to have a directly elected mayor or not. The citizens jury was only allowed two options: the present system or going back to the old system where we had the councillors electing the mayor…” Andrew Katos, Member for South Barwon, Parliament, 24 May 2017

A quick visit to the Link and the “Background Paper - Supporting practical recommendations” provided by Local Government Victoria shows this to be a lie.

The Minister provided the jury with a blank slate and the background material showed them every possible current option Victoria, including the “Melbourne Model”.

The only other contribution Mr Katos made in the Parliament this week was to pine for a different electorate – one with a bigger margin – showing that he is clearly not interested in his own constituents or their needs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins

“The Andrews Labor Government is acting to ensure Geelong has the first class council it deserves, as put forward by the Geelong community.”

“For Andrew Katos to denigrate the people of Geelong and their wishes for a better functioning council is disgraceful.”

“If Andrew Katos took more time paying attention to his constituents, instead of looking for another seat, he would support the Citizen’s Jury and help put the City of Greater Geelong back on the right path.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

Was this page helpful?