Home' The Great Southern Star : September 27th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - PAGE 3
By Brad Lester and Tayla
A RECORD field of candidates
will contest next month’s South
Gippsland Shire Council elec-
tions in what could be a sign
the community is fed up with
the current council.
At the close of nominations last Tues-
day, September 20, 32 candidates had
nominated in South Gippsland Shire and
24 in Bass Coast.
The fields of candidates were the big-
gest seen in South Gippsland Shire since
the new shire was formed in 1994.
At the last election in 2012 election, 13
candidates stood in South Gippsland Shire
and 26 in Bass Coast Shire.
South Gippsland Shire Council has
been plagued by in-fighting among coun-
cillors, while Bass Coast Shire Council has
made many controversial decisions, most
recently voting to close the Inverloch trans-
Ian Nicholas, a candidate in South
Gippsland’s Strzelecki Ward and a former
council employee, said many people were
unhappy with the current council’s perfor-
“The council has committed to spend-
ing $30 million on a municipal precinct
that is not required,” the Outtrim man said.
“The farce with the caravan parks is
probably on a lot of people’s minds and I
just think the council has not done enough
to look at the cost of the bureaucracy.”
Mr Nicholas felt the CEO’s package of
$300,000 was “on the nose”.
“The general staffing is okay but it’s
the amount of management they think they
need to manage the staff,” he said.
“It is just costing too much money for
very little return.”
Coastal-Promontory Ward candidate
Matt Sherry of Port Franklin said the cur-
rent council had not performed.
“The high rates and lack of transpar-
ency and accountability are the main rea-
sons,” he said.
Tarwin Valley Ward candidate Meg
Edwards felt the number of candidates re-
flected the many people who cared about
the shire’s future.
“I would like to work with them either
as a councillor or as a fellow community
member,” she said.
Strzelecki Ward candidate Aaron
Brown of Wattle Bank believed there was
mood for change.
“Some of the towns are looking a bit
tired. There is still a lot of economic stag-
nation and different people think a new
council would contribute different ideas,”
Tarwin Valley Ward candidate Ben
Corcoran of Leongatha believed voters
wanted new councillors.
“People want to see the council work
together with the community to get the job
done,” he said.
Cr Kieran Kennedy, the only South
Gippsland councillor to not renominate,
felt the large pool of candidates reflected
community opposition to the proposed
new council offices. Many candidates have
vowed to abandon the project.
As for whether the community was fed
up with the existing council, Cr Kennedy
said that would be determined by the elec-
In Bass Coast, Bunurong candidate
Mark Robertson believed interest was high
due to the new wards.
“I don’t know how much difference
having nine councillors will make but
having more people actively representing
an area can only be a good thing,” he said.
“The community seems to have an ‘us
versus them’ view of the council, so having
more people showing community interest
is a wonderful thing.”
Fellow Bunurong candidate Peter
Dalmau said the large pool of candidates
was inspired by the lack of consultation
and poor decision making by the council.
Mr Dalmau was a councillor with the
former Shire of Woorayl and believed
having more councillors per ward would
benefit the shire.
“Right now we have a situation where
councillors are either incompetent or
pushing their own agendas on their wards,”
“I am hopeful – due to the nature of the
people who are standing – the council will
operate efficiently after this election. There
is a balance of candidates with experience
and candidates with vitality and connections
which will create better outcomes.”
Voting papers will be mailed to voters
from October 4. Voting closes at 6pm Fri-
day, October 21.
All elections will be declared by Fri-
day, November 4.
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Vote for us: from left, South Gippsland Shire Council candidates at the
ballot draw in Leongatha last Tuesday, September 20, Ben Corcoran,
Philip Murphy, Ian Nicholas, Aaron Brown and Andrew McEwen.
THE Victorian Electoral Commis-
sion last Tuesday drew the bal-
lot for how candidates will appear
on ballot papers, due to hit voters’
mailboxes from October 4.
Record field rises up against council
By Brad Lester
CR KIERAN Kennedy will not
recontest the October council
elections after four terms with
South Gippsland Shire.
The one time mayor was the only sitting
councillor to not put forward their name when
nominations closed last Tuesday, September
“It’s been four terms in 13 years so I will
take time off and look at other ventures,” he
said, saying he was still working on his next
Cr Kennedy has thrown his support be-
hind candidate Vincent Morfuni QC, who has
property at Venus Bay.
Mr Morfuni has pledged to abandon the
new council offices and land sales program, and introduce
optional kerbside garbage collection for Venus Bay.
Cr Kennedy said, “He’s very experienced in all legal
matters and if he gets in I think council will benefit from
“To have someone of that ilk will be really positive for
this shire. I believe he has a good chance of getting in.
“Venus Bay deserves a councillor because we are the
third largest town in the shire.”
Cr Kennedy said he told his fellow councillors in 2014
he would not contest the 2016 election and said his de-
cision was not influenced by internal tension within the
“I have had the trust of the community to elect me on
four separate occasions and I only went to the
council table with the community in mind.
We achieved quite a lot as the community
wished,” he said.
Among his personal highlights were
achieving pathways in Tarwin Lower and Ve-
nus Bay, giving farmers more opportunity to
develop to benefit their superannuation under
the Rural Land Use Strategy and liaising with
“It’s been fantastic working with some re-
ally good council employees who really put
in a lot of work,” he said.
As mayor in 2013, Cr Kennedy helped
lay the groundwork for the Karmai Commu-
nity Children’s Centre now under construc-
tion in Korumburra by meeting with politi-
cians in Canberra to seek federal funding.
He would have liked to have achieved
more for Korumburra, saying the centre was
“the only real progress that Korumburra has had for the
last 20 years”.
Cr Kennedy will leave council still opposing the sell-
ing of council land and the new council offices proposed
for the future.
“I believe the new council will close the chapter on
this,” he said.
“Sure, revamp and modernise the existing offices but
to build new offices in these uncertain economic times, I
have not found one person who agrees with it.”
While he will take a break from community affairs,
Cr Kennedy said he hopes Venus Bay’s park on Jupiter
Boulevard is transformed into an all weather park for the
Time for a break:
Cr Kieran Kennedy
will not seek re-
nomination to South
Council at the Octo-
ber council election.
Kennedy farewells council
He thanked his wife Frances for her support.
“She’s been an absolute rock and behind me all the
way. She’s a fantastic ally and has been a great strength,”
Cr Kennedy said.
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