Local Government Elections 2024

Eastsider News

Voting in local government elections is compulsory, but have you asked yourself why you should bother to vote in the upcoming local council elections? Do you believe that you know enough about the candidates and that your vote can make a difference? Or do you think that, as long as your rubbish gets taken away and your road repaired, it doesn’t matter who your local councillor is?

As your local newspaper, we see it as part of our responsibility to help keep our community informed on matters that affect their daily lives. We believe the decisions and actions of our local councils influence many aspects of the way we live.  At the same time, it is important to Eastsider News that we steadfastly remain independent and non-partisan.  As such, we will not promote any individual candidate.

Councils manage huge budgets, supply many essential services, and have access to considerable authority. They choose to pursue a range of priorities that should reflect the priorities of the residents rather than the personal agenda of any particular councillor. The capacity of the people we elect to represent us will determine the quality of the many decisions and actions taken by Council in our name.

Informed voting is important

We at Eastsider News want to reinforce the importance of your vote, and the need to make a considered choice. We are independent and non-partisan, and do not promote individual candidates. We value democracy at the municipal level of government and believe that every vote matters. The more informed that vote is, the more it contributes to good governance and decision making by our local councils.

We know it is sometimes difficult to get information on candidates. For our September edition, we plan to invite all candidates in Boroondara and Whitehorse to tell electors about themselves and why we should vote for them.

Once elected, councillors have considerable authority over a wide range of matters including the nature and quality of services provided, the protection of our local environment, support for local business, the provision of local travel and other infrastructure. Councillors are also in a strong position to advocate for change to State and Federal Government policies and programs.

We encourage you to talk to your local candidates and question them about the things that matter to you. Ask them how they will consult with the people they represent and keep you informed of council activities. Question them about their attitude to things that are important to you.

We need high quality and informed candidates to nominate

To ensure that candidates are well informed, they are required, before standing to undertake mandatory candidate training, even if they have been a Councillor before, or are currently a Councillor. The Local Government Act also emphasises importance of integrity, transparency, and accountability, and includes a code of conduct. There is however, no explicit requirement to be transparent about the role of party politics in local government, despite the obvious connections.

Many voters have expressed a wish to know about party affiliations, so Eastsider News will put this question to Candidates.

Voting, nominating and key dates: The Victorian Electoral Commission

The following information is an extract of that available on the website of the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC). To keep up to date on the relevant dates, please go to their website at: https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/voting/2024-local-council-elections

Local council elections will be held in Victoria this October for all councils except Moira Shire Council. All voting in council elections is by post. VEC sends ballot packs to all enrolled voters for you to complete and send back.

Key dates

Wednesday, 7 August 2024: Roll closes at 4 pm

Monday, 9 September 2024: Nominations open at 9 am

Tuesday, 17 September 2024: Nominations, candidate statements, photographs, and questionnaires close at 12 noon

Wednesday, 18 September 2024: Ballot draw

Monday, 7 October 2024: Ballot pack mail out begins

Friday, 25 October 2024: Voting closes at 6 pm

Friday, 1 November 2024: All postal votes must be received by 12 noon

Friday, 15 November 2024: All election results declared

Enrolment

In a council election there are two types of enrolment: state-enrolled and council-enrolled. You have one vote per council. If you are a state-enrolled voter, that is the enrolment you use to vote. Council-enrolled voters include ratepayers who are property owners, occupiers or corporations.

To find out how to enrol and to identify the changes to the rules for council enrolled voters, go to the VEC website here: https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/enrolment/enrol-to-vote/enrolling-for-local-council-elections

Become a candidate

The opening and closing dates to submit nominations will be available soon. The VEC website has a range of useful publications which can guide you through the nominations process. They include the Candidate Handbook; the Scrutineer Handbook; a book about becoming a local council candidate; and a nomination guide.


Candidates’ statements

A special edition of Eastsider News will be published late in September to give our readers information about the candidates nominating for Boroondara and Whitehorse.  Candidates will be asked to supply a candidate statement and a photograph. The candidate statement will be 250 to 300 words in length and cover 5 questions.  These are:

  1. Which ward are you standing in?
  2. Why are you standing for Council?
  3. How will you make a difference?
  4. What are your key interests or issues?
  5. Are you a member of a political party, and if so which party?

Please also include an authorisation including a postal address at the end of the statement.


City of Boroondara

The City of Boroondara was formed in June 1994 from the amalgamation of the Cities of Kew, Camberwell and Hawthorn. It has an area of 60 square kilometres. At the 2021 Census, there were 167,900 people living in the area.

The City of Boroondara has 11 single member wards, Bellevue, Cotham, Glenferrie, Gardiner, Junction, Lynden, Maranoa, Maling, Riversdale, Solway, and Studley.


Michael Nolan: an independent candidate for Bellevue

Hi, I’m Michael Nolan and I’m running as an independent candidate for Bellevue Ward in Boroondara this council election.

I am a long-time resident of Kew East, and my team and I have already door-knocked hundreds of doors in Kew East and North Balwyn to get a better understanding of the area, and to hear the needs and hopes of local residents. As well, life experience has given me the skills and understanding to represent my community as councillor for the Bellevue ward.

My partner Rosemary and I have lived in Kew East for 26 years and have raised our 3 children here. Rosemary has worked in the disability sector for 18 years.

Locally, in Bellevue, I have been involved on the Hays Paddock advisory committee in Kew East and been co-convenor of Lighter Footprints. I have also served on Kew East Primary School committee and coached under-age basketball teams.

My career has seen me working as a project director in national manufacturing and logistics roles.

The community have told me already that our current Council is not doing enough to protect our environment or to keep rates low. It’s time for a fresh focus.

Matters that are important to hundreds of residents I have door knocked already are:

Responsible spending 

There needs to be a fresh focus on Council expenditure. This includes

  • More action on Kew Recreation Centre which is $20M over budget and 3 years behind.
  • Keep rates low by ensuring all projects are subject to a careful and thorough assessment of costs and benefits. Council spent $80M on the ‘Customer First Portal’ – an exorbitant cost
  • Review the rushed and expensive demolition and rebuild of Kew Library

Local

Strong communities are connected communities. People have suggested:

  • Create a trail from the Koonung Creek Reserve to Greythorn Village
  • Encourage local shopping
  • Create more community gardens

Climate

We need rapid action on the following:

  • Install local electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
  • Make the roll-out of electric buses quicker
  • Protect trees and increase tree planting

If you have any comments, or ideas, drop me an email at michaelnolan4Bellevue@gmail.com

Authorised by Michael Nolan, PO Box 378, Balwyn North, VIC,3014.

Liz Kelly: Boroondara Council Candidate for Cotham

Let me introduce myself. I am Liz Kelly, a local who has lived in Boroondara with my partner for 30 years. I see myself a true local because of my love for this beautiful area and my active involvement in many aspects of local community life including as part of a family. This has given me an understanding of the things that matter to the local people of Cotham ward. My working life has also given me the capacity to contribute to meaningful and effective change such as can be achieved through local government.

I grew up in Country NSW and landed in Kew in 1994 after extensive travel. I was attracted to the area by the beautiful green spaces and proximity to the city whilst still feeling like you were in a country town. There is a definite community ‘vibe’ in Kew. I am committed to maintaining and protecting our extensive green spaces so that all our community and its visitors can access and enjoy.

I feel privileged to live in Boroondara and acknowledge the many stunning heritage homes surrounded by beautiful gardens. This essence of the history should be maintained, whilst taking the opportunity to improve housing access for those less fortunate in the community. Medium density planning access to areas in Boroondara that are close to transport and shopping precincts should be considered.

My partner, Stephen and I have 2 adult children Connor and Claire. Both kids went to local primary schools, Claire attending Kew High and Connor went to St Pauls specialist school. Connor is a regular in the community and appreciates the beautiful spaces he can access with his support workers. Connor swims at HALC, attends Scouts and engages in many other activities within the community.

I am an active member of the community including involvement in local fundraising particularly for St Pauls. I am also physically active and a member of the local gym and the Hawthorn Running Group – you can often see me tagging along as a very slow ‘back ender’.

What I have to offer

As a highly qualified senior manager with over 2 decades of governance experience, I have had extensive experience as a chair and board member of a diverse range of organisations. This includes health, disability, sporting, dispute resolution, audit and governance groups. This has given me first hand experience in policy development and service provision that are major responsibilities in local government

What is important to me

I am dedicated to ensuring decision makers in Council are accountable and transparent to ratepayers in their decision making.

I am committed to council providing services that allows members of the community and visitors to access activities with respect and dignity. Inclusion for all abilities and allowing community members to age in place improves outcomes for all.

I understand through first-hand experience the benefits of care delivered in the community by the community. Aging in place for community members offers dignity and respect

Access to beautiful green spaces is something I prize as great for health, wellbeing and inclusion. I see that heritage buildings add to the beauty of Boroondara.

I think the Kew Recreation centre should be energised by sustainable means not gas

Come and say hello at Briquettes on Saturday 20 July from 9am to12pm. We will be having a sausage sizzle and I will be handing out lemons from the best tree in Kew East.

Authorised by Liz Kelly.  To contact Liz, please email Eastsider News at eastsidernews1@gmail.com and we will forward your email to her.