Columns
Residents' Association Image

Residents' Association

Congratulations, Southbank News
Read more >>

Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

Familiar faces doing things differently at Southgate
Read more >>

St Johns Southgate Image

St Johns Southgate

Affirmation of 100
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

COVID Q&A: Private renovations, cladding rectifications and nuisance from pets
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance Image

Montague Community Alliance

What an achievement … 100 editions!
Read more >>

Chinese

公共艺术还是广告?
Read more >>

Metro Tunnel

Metro Tunnel marks Parkville milestone
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

Why it pays to be neighbourly in a strata building
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Why Magnitsky Act is important for Australia
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Airbnb CEO “has mucked it all up”
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

Dancing against the odds
Read more >>

Port Places

Fishermans Bend: the first quarter 2019
Read more >>

Housing Image

Housing

Housing for all makes “good business sense”
Read more >>

History Image

History

Forward Surge
Read more >>

Safety and Security

Bicycle security and safety
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Practicing divergent thinking
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

Do COVID-19 clouds have a silver or red lining for vertical villages?
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Spoiling princess Chloe
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

What’s behind the lights?
Read more >>

Arron’s in

09 Sep 2020

Arron’s in Image

By Sean Car

The City of Melbourne local government elections got interesting on September 6 after Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood finally announced that he would be running for the city’s top job ahead of the October 24 postal elections.

The announcement ends months of speculation surrounding Cr Wood’s election bid having publicly gone toe-to-toe with Lord Mayor Sally Capp on a number of contentious issues including a safe injecting room near Queen Victoria Market (QVM).

Speaking to Southbank News on September 7, he described this year’s election as the “most important” in the City of Melbourne’s history with respect to the “crossroads” the city was at in the face of the looming economic rebuild post-COVID-19.

He noted that during his eight years as a councillor, Melbourne had earned the title of the “World’s Most Liveable City” for seven of those years, but in recent times, had begun to lose its way.

While he said he was committed to a contest of ideas devoid of “dirty politics”, he said he wasn’t afraid to call out the Lord Mayor for “draining the resources of council” with her big visions for the city.

“I feel as though the trajectory has been on the way down,” he said. “We’ve lost our way in terms of what council is fundamentally there to do.”

“That’s the nub of it for me; the grand visions and grand claims have started to drain the resources of council and take away from the day-to-day operations.”

“She’s [Sally Capp] been a good cheerleader for the city but she hasn’t been a good advocate for the city and its ratepayers. Her tagline is ‘people not politics’, but on issues like the safe Injecting room near QVM, residents and traders all made their voices heard but because she’s so close to the state government, she said ‘let’s leave it [the site] on the table’ and voted against my motion to take it off the table.”

“I think I can absolutely mount a significant challenge and I’ll roll out some policies over the coming weeks that will resonate with ratepayers. I’ve got a good story and a strong track record to show voters.”

Cr Wood was yet to reveal the names on his ticket by the time Southbank News published its September edition, but he said he was “really proud” of the team of current and former business owners he had assembled. He was expected to make the announcment within days.

In early September former Team Doyle member Cr Susan Riley formally announced to council that she would be retiring ahead of the next election. Cr Beverly Pinder, who was understood to be veering in the same direction, was yet to confirm either way but it's understood she'll run for Deputy Lord Mayor alongside Wood. Former Melboourne councillor Peter Clarke is also believed to be in the mix.

And while Cr Wood knows he enters the race as the underdog, he said he wasn’t perturbed by the weight of history in having to become the first person ever to unseat a sitting Lord Mayor at an election.

“That history is tempered in the fact that the Lord Mayor came in during a byelection,” he said.

“It hasn’t received a lot of commentary but when we [Team Doyle] ran in 2016 we won in a landslide so in terms of that mandate to implement policy I think in a way that’s one thing that tempers that power of incumbency.”

“I’ve been elected as part of the team that won in a landslide, I’ve been acting Lord Mayor and I’ve been a sitting councillor for the past eight years.”

It’s understood Cr Wood’s ticket has the support of a number of conservative heavyweights, including former Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett.

For a comprehensive overview of the rest of the field vying for election, read "An election like no other" in this edition. •

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.