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Sally Capp is back as Lord Mayor

11 Nov 2020

Sally Capp is back as Lord Mayor Image

By Sean Car

Incumbent Lord Mayor Sally Capp has been returned to the city’s top job by voters for her first full term on council following the City of Melbourne local government elections on October 24.

Ms Capp and her new Deputy Lord Mayor in Labor Party member Nicholas Reece defeated closest challenger Arron Wood and his deputy candidate Lisa Teh on the two-candidate preferred count 53 per cent to 46 per cent.

With results officially announced by the Victorian Electoral Commission on November 4, nearly two weeks after the election, Team Capp recorded nearly 28,000 primary votes in an election which saw the largest ever participation from voters.

While The Greens polled more than 1000 votes higher on primaries than Team Wood on the leadership ballot, the distribution of preferences saw Mr Wood narrowly pip The Greens on two-candidate-preferred to climb to within seven per cent of Team Capp.

The newly-elected Lord Mayor said she was honoured to lead Melbourne again.

“With counting concluded, I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue to lead Melbourne,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We face a big challenge to revitalise Melbourne after the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be a big job – and I promise that you can count on me and my team.”

“We will work day in and day out to ensure that Melbourne once again becomes the economic engine room of the state and the nation.”

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who was successful in the City of Melbourne elections. I look forward to working with you all over the next four years, during such an important time for our community.”

The makeup of the new council was also revealed on November 4, with six new faces elected to the nine councillor positions.

Incumbent Kevin Louey was re-elected on the Team Capp ticket alongside new councillor and Liberal Party member Roshena Campbell, giving the Lord Mayor a bloc of four and casting vote on the new council.

The Greens’ Rohan Leppert was also re-elected alongside new face Dr Olivia Ball, who replaces the retiring three-term Greens councillor Cathy Oke on the new council.

Liberal Party member Philip Le Liu was also re-elected on the Nick Russian-led unofficial Liberal ticket.

Team Arron Wood’s Jason Chang, Jennifer Yang’s number one councillor candidate and CFMEU representative Elizabeth Doidge and the Labor Party’s first endorsed councillor in Royal Mail Hotel owner and North Melbourne resident Davyyd Griffiths were each elected.

But perhaps the biggest shock was the surprise election of independent candidate and Docklands resident Jamal Hakim, who despite recording very low on primaries, snuck home on preferences.

While early predictions had seen Team Capp elected with a bloc of five, its vote would dip late, meaning its third indigenous candidate Mark McMillan, ultimately wasn’t elected as the first Aboriginal councillor in the City of Melbourne’s history.

Liberal Democrat candidate and Southbank resident Paul Silverberg was also in the running for a spot on council, having recorded a large number of dummy Liberal voters but, he too, missed out (read this month's Southbanker column).

As well as Mr Wood, councillors from the previous term who ran in this election and missed out include Jackie Watts and Beverley Pinder, who both depart the council having served consecutive terms.

Overall, the new council consists of seven men and four women, and has less residents than non-residents.

The new council was sworn in at a special ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday, November 10 •

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