New ALGA president for only ten days?

By Adam Coleman

Cr Geoff Lake from the City of Monash in Victoria is the new president of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), but with all Victorian councils currently in caretaker mode due to local elections, there remains the possibility he will lose his council seat and subsequently the ALGA presidency.

One of the requirements in the ALGA constitution is that ALGA board members and the president are elected councillors.

Four years ago, Victorian councillor Rae Perry was the first woman to lead local governments in Australia as the president of ALGA. As with Cr Geoff Lake, the appointment was made ten days prior to the Victorian local government elections.

Cr Perry lost her council seat in those elections and was forced to vacate the ALGA presidency after only ten days, leading to the appointment of the now outgoing president, Cr Paul Bell.

Government News spoke to Cr Geoff Lake about the possibility of him losing his seat and subsequently his position as ALGA president.

“In the instance that I lose, one of the two vice presidents would act in the position until ALGA can reconvene an AGM which would typically be about a month after a president goes out of office.

“The AGM would then elect someone to fulfill the position,” Cr Lake said.

Cr Lake remains confident that there be no reoccurrence of four years ago and his tenure as ALGA president will endure longer than ten days.

“I have served three terms on council, I am in a multi-member ward and based on my vote in the previous few elections it would have to drop significantly for me to miss out on winning one of the two positions that up for grabs in the ward I am running in.

“I certainly don’t take my election locally for granted, but it would be a big surprise to me and others if I was unsuccessful in being re-elected.”

Election day in Victoria is the 29 November and according to Cr Lake it normally takes two or three days of counting before a final result becomes clear.

“I know in my ward I think it is the Monday that the returning officer anticipates counting my own particular ward. We will know for sure then,” he said.

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