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Statement from the President of the Municipal Association of Victoria

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The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is disappointed by the announcement by the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Shaun Leane MP, of the Victorian Government’s decision not to defer the state’s council elections.

The MAV believes the October elections have been seriously compromised by COVID-19.

With the ongoing restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and rural and regional Victoria, we face the very real proposition that many exceptional candidates will not nominate. Current stage 4 and 3 restrictions also make campaigning very difficult and costly.

MAV President Cr Coral Ross said it is incredibly frustrating that the State Government has not listened to the sector, and taken the common-sense decision to delay elections.

“We have been calling for a deferral of local government elections for months now due to the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on free and fair elections.

“Minister Leane’s announcement today means that the elections will not have the quality and diversity of candidates that Victoria deserves.

“We know that not all councils were in favour of postponing council elections until 2021, but in the current environment and State of Disaster, it would have been a sensible and practical decision, for communities, candidates and councils”, said Councillor Ross.