‘Our silent majority’ Geelong Advertiser article

My article and I get a wee spanking on 94.7 The Pulse

I have an opinion piece about the October 10 Geelong mayoral forum in today’s Geelong Advertiser (p. 16). In it I claim that

Of the 13 impromptu audience questions [at the mayoral forum], I believe six were obviously asked by advocates or people who were there to direct ‘Dorothy Dixer‘ questions at a particular candidate.

Here’s my evidence for that claim:

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Candidate preferences for Geelong Mayor election

Late on Monday 1 October, the Victorian Electoral Commission released candidate preferences for the coming Geelong Mayor election.

Here’s each candidate’s nomination of preferences, in numerical order.

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Directly elected mayors: the English experiment

Most English mayors are elected in a similar fashion to most mayors in Australia: by ward councillors. But in May of this year 11 English cities participated in referenda to determine whether citizens should directly elect their mayors.

Asked would they like to change from the status quo and introduce direct mayoral elections, participants from the various cities answered as follows.

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Public submissions against the introduction of a directly elected mayor in Geelong

In March 2011 the Victorian Government Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) released a discussion paper on the form that direct mayoral elections could take in Geelong. The paper identified procedural and administrative issues that remained to be decided and asked for submissions from the public on those issues. DPCD received sixty-five written submissions in total. Below is a summary of the public submissions opposed to the introduction of a directly elected mayor in Geelong.

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Costagate, or the Geelong cash-for-councillors saga

What was Costagate?

Frank Costa

Frank Costa

‘Costagate’ refers to an episode in which a number of candidates in the November 2004 Geelong council elections received funding from six Geelong businessmen and developer Lascorp. Under Section 81 of the Victorian Local Government Act 1989 a Councillor ‘…must disclose … particulars of any gift of or above the amount or value of $500 received by him or her from a person other than a person related to him or her by blood or marriage…’ A number of candidates were thought to have breached the Local Government Act.

The name ‘Costagate’ refers to the involvement of Frank Costa (pictured right), head of the Costa Group and then President of the Geelong Football Club. The term is a piece of journalistic hyperbole whereby Costa’s surname was appended with the suffix ‘-gate’. The allusion to the Watergate affair conveys the idea that the parties involved engaged in gross misconduct.

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