Sally Capp elected Lord Mayor in City of Melbourne by-election

Sally Capp elected Lord Mayor in City of Melbourne by-election
Alastair TaylorMay 20, 2018

Sally Capp has been elected as the new lord mayor of Melbourne in a council by-election result that saw the new mayor achieve a 53:47 split after preferences were counted.

The lord mayor-elect received 19,412 first preference votes, Jennifer Yang, an ALP-backed candidate received the second highest number of first preference votes at 11,774 and the Greens candidate Councillor Rohan Leppert came third in the first preference stakes with 11,296 votes attributed to him.

In all there are 144,550 electors for the City of Melbourne, there were 81,825 votes counted representing a turnout of 56%.  There were 5,333 informal votes recorded according to the VEC.

Sally Capp is the third, and first female, popularly elected mayor for the City of Melbourne and her most recent position prior to the by-election was Victoria Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia. The new lord mayor took leave without pay during the election campaign and has since resigned from the position according to a Property Council media release.

The lord mayor-elect's CV also includes a stint as the CEO of the Committee for Melbourne, a director of the Collingwood Football Club, Chief of Operations at the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and she was the former Victorian Agent-General based in London at the High Commission.

Her electoral platform included five primary areas: Advancing Melbourne, a safer Melbourne, a caring Melbourne, a living Melbourne and a future Melbourne.

Advancing Melbourne, according to campaign material, was about delivering on basics – keeping rates low, reviewing regulations and removing them where necessary and convening what's dubbed 'Our Melbourne Committee' to “deliver on big ideas and innovation.”

The caring Melbourne policy seeks to address homelessness through “more housing, more jobs, lockers to keep our streets tidy and supporting the programs with a proven track record of breaking the cycle of homelessness.”

The lord mayor-elect also wants to see a wider rollout of the free tram zone and according to interviews given since the election is keen to work with and review long-standing planning power split between the council and state government on proposals which have over 25,000 square metres of gross floor area being assessed by the State Government.

Sally Capp told the AFR that “those sorts of thresholds are things that are worthy of review.”

One of the big ticket items in the lord mayor-elect's platform was to build a New York high line-inspired path between the city and Docklands, potentially costing up to $250 million.

It is expected the Victorian Electoral Commission will declare the result today. It is also expected that the new lord mayor will be sworn in at a ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall on Thursday.

Lead image credit: Sally Capp on twitter.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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