The Victorian Greens have officially launched more than 80 candidates for the upcoming local election as part of a major campaign for Greens representation on councils across metropolitan and regional areas.
Candidates include incumbents such as Cr Rohan Leppert (City of Melbourne) and Deputy Mayor Susanne Newton (Darebin), as well as regional community leaders such as Katie Clements (Mildura) and new faces like Angelica Panopoulos (Moreland), who will be the youngest candidate this year.
This year many of the candidates will focus on a local COVID-19 recovery that prioritises leading action on climate change, building a thriving local economy, growing our green neighbourhoods and revolutionising recycling.
The candidates hope to build on the existing work and achievements by Greens on local council, which include:
- Darebin becoming the first council in the world to declare a climate emergency and leading 48 councils to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy
- Greater Dandenong helping to install 580 KW of solar panels and establishing the First Electric Car Charging Policy and First Greater Dandenong Electric Vehicle Transition Plan
- Geelong implementing a waste management strategy
- Ballarat protecting its vibrant community spaces from being closed and demolished (including local pools and community halls)
Earlier this year former Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek attempted to stamp out independent and minor party voices from council by passing his Local Government Bill, which mandated single-member wards for every council.
This move favoured the two big parties and went against expert advice from the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) and protests from councils alike.
Despite this, the Greens are confident in their chances at winning a number of spots on council at the upcoming election and believe local communities trust their vision to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis.
For over 20 years the Greens have been making a difference in their communities on local council and the party hopes to continue this legacy following the election on October 24.
As stated by Angelica Panopoulos, Candidate for Moreland (North-West Ward):
“We need more young people on council because, chances are, we’ve lived in our local area for most of our formative years.
“We know what works and what doesn’t work, and we’re not afraid to think outside the box for solutions to some of our biggest problems.
“But the thing is, we don’t get a seat at the table if we don’t do anything. We don’t get our voices heard unless we run for council and more importantly, vote.”
As stated by Katie Clements, Candidate for Mildura:
“Local government is important for rural and regional Victoria because it reflects the community it serves.
“I chose to run for the Greens because we have real solutions and a vision for a more sustainable, happier and healthier future for all people.”