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New faces on Council with women in majority

These are your new councillors for the City of Port Phillip.

CRAWFORD, Louise           ALP
CLARK, Rhonda                  RoPP
BAXTER, Tim                      Greens
PEARL, Marcus                   Ind Liberal
CUNSOLO, Heather            Independent
MARTIN, Peter                    ALP
COPSEY, Katherine            Greens
BOND, Andrew Ind             Liberal
SIRAKOFF, Christina          RoPP
Visit the VEC for full details.

Port Phillip has a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
As predicted in TWiSK, Cr
Louise Crawford was elected as mayor.
Her deputy will be Cr
Marcus Pearl .

Women will be in the majority on our next Council after voters delivered a more diverse but more politically divided result.
The two successes by the Ratepayers of Port Phillip (RoPP) adds significantly more clout to the voices of independent Liberals Crs Bond and Pearl. You can expect them to combine to apply more intense scrutiny to Council expenditure and processes in the coming months and years.
Meanwhile, a reduced Green team will be looking to build strong working alliances with the ALP duo – together they’ll be keen to defend hard won climate change policies and other social programs. Working together will ensure they maintain a powerful voice.
Newly elected Gateway independent Heather Cunsolo may find herself being the deciding vote on contentious issues. An experienced community advocate and social media administrator, Heather is well placed to balance the issues.

Here is our ward by ward analysis …

Lake Ward Click for full size
RoPPs Christina Sirakoff joins re-elected Councillors Katherine Copsey and Andrew Bond. Cr Copsey’s first preference vote was the highest in the municipality and got her elected without needing preferences – well done. With Bond and Sirakoff also polling well, this left the ALPs Robbie Nyaguy to depend on preference flows that didn’t arrive.

Canal Ward Click for full size
Here another sitting female councillor Louise Crawford achieved an outstanding first preference result, just short of a quota. While Cr Gross was the next highest, he needed preferences to get re-elected. Bilic’s preferences were widespread, as were Pianella’s. Many of Blay’s preferences (although not all) went to Baxter. Clark benefited most from Cahir’s second preferences, but the final blow for Cr Gross was the flow from McDonald to Clark, who’s surplus elected Baxter. Cr Gross missed out by about 100 votes.

Gateway Ward Click for full size
With strong votes for Pearl and Cunsolo, the battle was for the third space. The preferences of Greens’ James flowed strongly to the ALPs Martin giving him the third spot.

Editorial comment
Congratulations to all successful candidates.
The postal vote, the injection of more party-endorsed candidates and the COVID restrictions made this an extraordinary election. Voter turnout was up significantly to around 67% – compared to less than 50% previously. Party endorsed candidates now make up four of the nine councillors (two Greens and two Labor), with RoPP and independent Liberals also contributing four councillors.
We also saw very strong personal results for female candidates in each ward, namely Copsey, Crawford and Cunsolo, ultimately delivering five female councillors – a very positive and welcome achievement.
So what’s the message from voters?
This is a re-balancing.
The vote acknowledges the support for environmental and social programs, but also sharpens the focus on value-for-money and getting things done. TWiSK welcomes this rebalance but with qualifications …
The past Council was excessively inward looking and bureaucratic – it preferred making plans instead of taking action. In the COVID times there is no doubt that the community needs more active support from council – and it needs it now – especially to for the arts, music, recreation and hospitality sectors.
This Council needs to acknowledge this and have a ‘crisis-informed’ response – that means doing things differently, listening more and cutting back on internal processes to make action faster.
But the last thing we need is councillors divided into blocks, facing-off across the room.
TWiSK says yes to a rebalance, but a super yes also to co-operation and focus on getting good things done.
At TWiSK our watch words are: vibrant. inclusive and positive.
And that requires co-operation.