Port Phillip Council election 2016

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By Kanika Sood

On October 22, the City of Port Phillip will vote for a new Council. This election is particularly exciting because it is the first time the voters will elect nine councillors across three wards instead of seven from seven wards. Yet a few things remain unchanged: notably that major newspapers and TV channels will ignore the election and report only on the results.

In August this year St Kilda News put out a call inviting candidates from all three wards to submit a short piece to the paper. The idea was to put the voices of all Council contenders in one place for Port Phillips 100,000 residents to read and analyse.

This issue includes pieces by seven candidates. These combined with the two we published in our last issue (Ogy Simic and Katherine Copsey, available online) constitute the ten candidate submissions we received.

A few interesting facts about the submissions we received. First, only 33 per cent of the submissions were from women. Lake Ward looks heavily contested with almost half our submissions from candidates vying for it.

The candidates come from diverse occupations including law, architecture, teaching, management, and even performing arts. There are fresh faces as well as Council veterans. Lastly, while most listed architecture and planning issues around St Kilda as their main concerns, a few also raised the question of renewable energy.

However, please take note that not all candidates who are standing for the election may have responded to our call. Further, no candidate’s piece was significantly edited and represents his/her own opinion. Lastly, these submissions are a one-way dialogue at their best. Of course no candidate writes about their shortcomings or past council decisions that were censured. St Kilda News is aware of this and has organised a public debate OPENVoice Q & A to allow people to express their opinion on Council matters. Don’t forget to join us on October 11, 2016.

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