Geelong council restructure endorsed

News

Victoria’s Parliament has formally endorsed a new structure for the City of Greater Geelong, with a smaller council, fewer wards and internally-elected mayor.

Passing of the City of Greater Geelong Amendment Bill 2017 on June 8 followed dismissal of the previous council in April 2016 and subsequent recommendations by an Australian-first ‘citizens’ jury’.

Key changes to the council and municipal structure include:

  • 11 councillors, including the mayor and deputy mayor, reduced from a total of 13;
  • Mayor and deputy mayor to be elected by and from councillors for two-year terms, replacing a community-elected mayor model; and
  • Councillors to represent four wards, replacing 12, with three wards to have three councillors and one ward with two.

Legislators believe the changes will provide greater support for the mayor, and with ward representation realigned create a more co-operative and accessible council delivering on community priorities.

Parliament’s Upper House adopted the Bill without amendment, formalising a return to elected governance of Geelong following a poll on October 28.

The mayoral allowance will also be cut to align with those of other major regional cities.

Victorian Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins said the people of Greater Geelong would be getting the first-class council they deserve.

“This is an historic day for the city and I’m proud of everyone involved in making it happen, particularly the members of the Geelong Citizens Jury,” Ms Hutchins said.

Source: Based on a State Government media release.