The Victorian State Government's appointment of Administrators
to manage the Greater Geelong City Council fifteen months ago has
been an important and positive move for many in Geelong's business
community. The Administrators have delivered the critical
leadership stability businesses need to plan for the future and
At the time of their dismissal, the previous Council was
described by an independent Commission of Inquiry as being so
dysfunctional that it was "unable to provide the longer term
vision, leadership and good government required" to properly govern
Victoria's second city.
A four-year term of administration was suggested, with the
Geelong community to be given the opportunity to vote for a new
Council in 2020. This was consistent with previous Council
dismissals in Victoria - the City of Wangaratta was in
administration for three years after it was sacked in 2013.
However, after just 15 months, elections in Geelong will now be
conducted in October.
The Committee for Geelong considers that the Council's
Administrators have not been allowed sufficient time to implement
the important and necessary changes recommended by the independent
Commission of Inquiry, whilst also managing the day-to-day
operations of the Council.
Although the Administrators have made significant progress in
responding to the recommendations, their 12-month report to the
Government makes it clear that there is significantly more work to
be done. For example, it is clear that there is not enough
time before the election to further develop and fully embed
theClever and Creativefuture vision for our city-region.
However, the decision has been made to go ahead with October's
Once the final vote has been counted, and the successful
candidates have been declared, the focus will turn to the new
Council to continue and complete the Administrators' work. It
will be incumbent on the new Council to deliver the Clever and
Creative vision for our city-region, capitalising on the
comprehensive consultation with the Geelong community.
The Committee for Geelong will work collaboratively with the
Council to ensure Geelong takes advantage of the solid foundations
that have now been established by the Administrators. We will
also expect the new Council to govern with the highest levels of
accountability and professionalism, so that past divisions and
dysfunction can be consigned to history.
Geelong needs proficient and effective leadership from its
Council. October's election presents a unique opportunity for
everyone - the Council, the Victorian State Government, the
Committee for Geelong, other organisations, business owners and
operators, and our community - to come together to ensure that our
city-region has a strong and positive future.