‘New faces’ may rule council


VOTERS will choose 11 of 43 candidates to form the next Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

The state government decided to go ahead with the October elections despite the COVID-19 restrictions which will impact on candidates’ campaigns.

Nominations closed Tuesday 22 September and voting, postal only, will close at 6pm on Friday 23 October.

Voting is compulsory and the Victorian Electoral Commission will mail out voting packs between 6 and 8 October.

Just five of the 11 current councillors are seeking re-election, which means a majority of the new council will be new to the job, although at least one candidate has been a councillor in another municipality.

Several of the candidates have previously unsuccessfully stood for the shire.

Issues likely to confront the new council include protecting the green wedge, opposing AGL’s plans for a gas import terminal at Crib Point (a decision to be made by the state and federal governments) and the ongoing fractious relationship between the shire and Peninsula Aero Club over operations at the Tyabb airfield.

Theoretically, the new councillors could vote to abandon a showdown looming over the airfield at the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal early in the new year.

The ongoing investigations by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) could also see former councillors named over their involvement with previous council decisions affecting the Martha Cove marina and housing development at Safety Beach.

There are no councillors seeking re-election in the three-councillor Briars Ward, which has 15 candidates, or single-councillor Watson Ward, with five candidates.

At least three Watson Ward candidates can be regarded as being pro-Peninsula Aero Club, while another has been a prominent member of Save Westernport, the community group opposing AGL’s gas import plan.

Candidates and their wards:

Briars Ward:

Despi O’Connor, Janet Street, Peter Orton, Julia McCarthy, Anthony Marsh, Wayne Hinton, Barbara O’Reilly, Andrew Ward, Belinda Rodman, Jill Stanszus, Stephen Batty, Peter Fitzgerald, Dion Mullett Treloar, Steve Holland, Bruce Ranken.

Cerberus Ward:

Neil Biggins, Lisa Dixon, Darren Barnfield, Kate Roper.

Nepean Ward:

Simon Mulvany, Sarah Race, Gary Naughton, Susan Bissinger, Mechelle Cheers, Hugh Fraser, Mark Davis.

Red Hill Ward:

David Breadmore, Claire Thorn, Melissa Goffin, David Gill, Tim Davies.

Seawinds Ward:

Simon Brooks, Simon Galli, Debra Mar, Kerri McCafferty, George Conrad, Jared Tipping, Antonella Celi.

Watson Ward:

Paul Mercurio, Louise Page, Michael Stephens, Stefan Borzecki, Bernhard Loois.


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