Greens are in, UnChain is out, and Dick is back

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Port Phillip Council election results:

By Daniel Wilson


The Greens have won three seats in last month’s Council election when before they had none. This means they occupy one third of Port Phillip Council: Tim Baxter (Canal ward), Katherine Copsey (Lake ward) and Ogy Simic (Gateway ward)

Before standing for Council, Ogy Simic was the National Campaigns Manager for the Greens in this year’s Federal Election. The campaign he and his colleagues ran in Port Phillip echoed the polished professionalism seen on the national stage.

With scant media coverage, there was little else voters had to base their decision on other than the material the candidates themselves put out. The Greens had a clear and focused message that resonated with voters.

Joining the team of fresh faces is newly elected Louise Crawford. If the name sounds familiar it is because she is the actor from Neighbours, City Homicide, Utopia and Breakers. In 2014 she was a Labor candidate for the seat of Brighton in Victorian State election. Community Alliance for Port Phillip supported Crawford in her bid for Council. She is passionate about climate change mitigation and adaptation.

David Brand, also supported by Community Alliance of Port Phillip, was re-elected. So too was Andrew Bond, who stood as an independent but is a member of the Liberal party.

Marcus Pearl, also a member of the Liberal party, was newly elected to Council. In 2010 he became one of ANZ’s youngest directors. Currently he is the CEO of insurance company Primacy Underwriting

Incumbent Mayor of Port Phillip, Bernadene Voss, member of Community Alliance of Port Phillip, was re-elected to Council. Whether she makes it back into the top job will be determined by a vote of the newly elected nine-member Council.

After an absence of eight years, Dick Gross, member of Community Alliance of Port Phillip, has been elected back to Council. He was at the centre of the St Kilda Triangle controversy. When he was Mayor, Council engaged a developer to turn the site into a ‘Fed Square by the sea’. A community backlash ensued that called the development a ‘Chadstone by the sea’. At the subsequent 2008 Council election Gross was voted out, and the City paid the developer $5 million to walk away.

UnChain was the community group that lead the campaign against the infamous St Kilda Triangle development. Until last month’s election three UnChain members were on Council. Now there are none. Vanessa Huxley did not stand again. Jane Touzeau and Serge Thomann both stood as independents, but neither was re-elected.

Candidates for Port Phillip Council - Photo by Brent Cabatan

Candidates for Port Phillip Council – Photo by Brent Cabatan

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