MAV welcomes new Premier

By Angela Dorizas

The election of Ted Baillieu as the new Premier of Victoria has been welcomed by the state's peak local government body.

Former premier John Brumby yesterday conceded that Labor had lost government.
Mr Baillieu and his new cabinet will be sworn in within the coming days. He is expected to recall Parliament before the Christmas break to start work on the Coalition’s policy agenda.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) welcomed the incoming Premier and his commitment to working with the sector to return planning controls to councils.

MAV president Bill McArthur told Government News he was looking forward to working with the new Coalition Government in a “cooperative way”.

“We had a good relationship with them when they were in opposition and had regular contact, so they’re not strangers to us,” Cr McArthur said.

“We look forward to a positive relationship.”

Cr McArthur said the Coalition had already promised to return planning controls to councils and communities.

“Mr Baillieu said we weren’t going to have a Sydney-type planning scheme,” he said.

“That’s something that we strongly advocated for. We’re very pleased to hear that commitment.”

Cr McArthur said councils welcomed the Coalition’s commitment to spending $160 million on rural roads and bridges, $20 million on energy efficiency street lighting and $6 million on operational grants for small rural kindergartens.

Melbourne’s inner-metro councils also applauded the Coalition’s pledge to repeal Labor’s extended clearways policy, he added.

“The inner-metro councils fought a hard and long battle against the extended clearways,” he said.

“I think that’s a major win for those council and their communities.”

Mr Baillieu said his immediate plans were to abolish suspended sentencing for serious crimes, create a new agency to overhaul Melbourne’s public transport system, abolish the Office of Police Integrity and set up the state’s first anti-corruption commission. He will also move to increase the police presence at railway stations.

Cr McArthur said the nightly deployment of police officers at train stations was a major issue for some councils.

“Frankston Council has been very active advocating on that matter,” he said.

Cr McArthur said there were a number of issues the Coalition Government was yet to review, including the long-term funding arrangements for local government, the reporting and regulation compliance burden imposed on councils and inefficiencies in Victoria’s land use planning system.

Cr McArthur said it was unclear whether the Coalition supported the campaign for constitutional recognition of local government.

“It wasn’t ruled out, but that’s a conversation we need to have with the new Premier.”

 “It wasn’t ruled out, but that’s a conversation we need to have with the new Premier.”

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required