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Derryn Hinch to run for Lord Mayor, declaring: “Make Melbourne proud again”

Derryn Hinch to run for Lord Mayor, declaring: “Make Melbourne proud again”
Brendan Rees

Derryn Hinch, the broadcast legend and former senator, has announced he will contend for the position of Lord Mayor of Melbourne later this year.

He has vowed to shake things up and ensure the city comes back to its best by tackling graffiti, illegal e-scooter behaviour, people experiencing homelessness, and traffic issues.

Mr Hinch confirmed with Southbank News that he would run for Lord Mayor, saying he still has the “fire in my belly” to take the reins of the city’s top job.

“I was approached by people at the City Council who said, ‘do you want to be Lord Mayor,’ and I thought ‘give me a week, I’ll think about it’,” he said.

“Stealing from the NT [tourism logo], I thought well, you’ll never, never know if you never, never go.”

Despite being 80, Mr Hinch said he was in good health, and was “going to hospital next week [early March] just for a check-up to prove that I’m as good as I say I am”.

The City of Melbourne’s council election is set to take place later this year, with current Lord Mayor Sally Capp yet to reveal if she will run again.

Mr Hinch, a popular media personality who is known for his outspoken nature and relentless pursuit of justice, said there was much to do to “Make Melbourne proud again”.

He said he wants to see more graffiti gone, and while he believed Lime and Neuron hire e-scooters should not be banned, rider rules should be enforced to improve safety.

“You’ve got to work out better ways to control them. I walked out and nearly fell over one the other day; it was sitting right on a pedestrian crossing,” he said.

“I think we have to educate the users to be more responsible and also the operators.

“I’m seeing school kids in their uniforms five at a time, scooting along with the helmets on top of handlebars, which is nuts.”

Mr Hinch also believes councillors need to go back to basics and not be debating the crisis in Gaza for four hours, which was the “best example where we’re going wrong in my view”.

“It’s a very important issue, but it’s not for a council. I grew up with the three Rs, which are rates, roads, rubbish. That’s what we should be concentrating on.”

“I think people get a bit too woke at times … stick to your knitting. We’re not the United Nations. We’re trying to make the city a better place for the people of Melbourne.”

He said that when he grew up, “city councillors were councillors. You didn’t know what their politics were”.

 

You didn’t have the Labor politicians on the City Council or Liberal or National. You were just the City Council because you believed in the city, and I would love to see that again.

 

Mr Hinch said the city had to improve traffic flow, and while he supported bike lanes, “we don’t need them everywhere”.

Furthermore, he is keen to explore an idea proposed by a former Lord Mayor, which was to install lockers for people experiencing homelessness “where they can put their gear and their bedding at nighttime and have some sort of pride instead of walking around with their life in a Coles basket”.

Mr Hinch said he also promised to cut out travel junkets, saying “if it’s a genuine trip, maybe to a sister city and to achieve something that is fine, but if it is just a junket, no way”.

“Also, if I’m elected there will be no limousine parked outside Town Hall, I can tell you,” he added.

Mr Hinch said he was yet to decide on a running mate but will “make an official announcement in three or four weeks”.

He added age was no barrier for his candidacy, noting he was not as old as US President Joe Biden, nor singer Paul McCartney who “just finished a world tour” at 81.

“I did a thing recently [on radio] where they said there should be an age limit for politicians. And I said, ‘what minimum age do you suggest?’ They didn’t get the joke.” •

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