Saturday, 8 October 2016

All ballot papers have now been sent to voters from the Victorian Electoral Commission, and voters have until 6pm 21 October to have their ballot papers returned.

The election campaign is in full flight, and candidates’ competing visions for Melbourne’s future are being debated across the City.

Here are five excellent reasons to vote Greens this election.

1. The Greens team is the only team with a comprehensive policy platform

We aren’t running on personality, or on a single issue, or on media-directed issues. We have a comprehensive policy platform which has been developed over two years with experts and members of the community, and we are upfront with all voters and constituents about our community-led vision for Melbourne. We think all voters should know where every candidate stands.

The Age on 8 October 2016 said:

The Greens policies on planning are the most comprehensive released so far, and seek to tackle both affordability and the loss of “human scale” at the street level. Others, notably Ong and Gary Morgan, seem to have almost nothing to say about it.

You can read our comprehensive policy platform here.

2. Melbourne has had two women Mayors in its 174-year history. They’ve both endorsed Dr Olivia Ball to be the next!

The City of Melbourne’s first mayor was elected 174 years ago. Since then, we have had a woman as Lord Mayor only twice, for two one-year terms. Lecki Ord was elected in 1987, and Winsome McCaughey AO was elected in 1988. It’s been 27 years since our last woman Lord Mayor, and we think it’s time for another one!

Lecki Ord and Winsome McCaughey have endorsed Dr Olivia Ball to be the next Lord Mayor of Melbourne.

The Age on 21 September said:

The Greens’ Olivia Ball is the sole female lord mayoral candidate this time around (a Green was also the only woman candidate in 2012 too).

Neither Ms Ord – once from Labor’s Socialist Left – nor Ms McCaughey belong to the Greens but on Tuesday, at the Greens’ policy launch, both threw their support behind Ms Ball.

Both said it was ridiculous that it was so long since a woman had led Town Hall. The city’s first mayor was elected 174 years ago.

“In Australia, we seem to be going backwards in terms of our representation of women,” said Ms McCaughey.


3. Current Greens Councillors have a proven track record in getting policies implemented

Since Greens were first elected to the City of Melbourne in 1999, we have punched above our weight. Over the last decade, our policies on planning for liveable communities in the face of record inner city development have not been implemented due to the balance of votes on Council, and we are determined to keep fighting until Melbourne’s planning regime delivers better outcomes for inner city communities. In spite of being in a minority on Council, however, we have amassed plenty of achievements – you can see a selection here, which includes:

  1. New parks above and beyond Council’s own open space strategies;
  2. Melbourne’s first Biodiversity strategy;
  3. Melbourne Music Week;
  4. 6 major new heritage reviews above and beyond Council officers’ plans;
  5. Fly Neighbourly Agreement to improve inner city residential amenity;
  6. A Significant Tree Register;
  7. Record investment in safe cycle paths;
  8. Expanding and improving Arts House to provide direct support to experimental and contemporary artists and arts;
  9. Review of local laws to ensure compliance with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights;
  10. New planning controls to create incentives for construction of new state government schools;

and much more!

4. All Greens candidates are local City of Melbourne residents

We are running a team of seven candidates in these elections. Dr Olivia Ball and Roxane Ingleton are running for Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor; they live in Carlton and North Melbourne respectively. Our five Councillor candidates, Cr Rohan Leppert, Cr Cathy Oke, Apsara Sabaratnam, Jenny Pitts and Ben Curnow live in Kensington, the CBD and North Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne is unique in Australian Local Government electoral systems; as 60% of the electoral roll is non-residential (a mix of business votes and non-residential property owner votes – where these non-residential entitlements are often for 2 votes to every resident’s 1 vote), Melbourne is the only municipality in Australia where a majority of Councillors live outside the municipal boundaries. Melbourne is also the most male electoral roll, and, we believe, the wealthiest electoral roll, in the country, due to its unique electoral system.

We believe that we need more Councillors at Town Hall that have a very close connection to place and to local communities. We have strong business credentials too, but we are offering a team of seven local resident candidates and active community members to ensure that Town Hall is as close to the community as possible.

Melbourne Candidates - All

5. You know that Greens Councillors will always work in the public interest

We do not take any donations from property developers, gambling interests, alcohol or tobacco interests, or the fossil fuel industries. In this campaign, all cash donations are from individuals, with a median donation of $50. We are upfront and transparent about our campaign finance, and our policies are absolutely consistent in seeking to deliver strong public benefits.

Cities should be built for people, not just property developers.