Council asks to defer election Brodie Cowburn firstname.lastname@example.org KINGSTON councillors have agreed to write to Premier Daniel Andrews asking for the October council elections to be delayed, and for local ward boundary changes to be held off. Earlier this year, the new Local Government Act was passed. The act mandated that Kingston Council’s structure change to eleven single member wards at the next election. Kingston Council currently consists of nine councillors split across three wards. Following the recent dismissal of local government minister Adem Somyurek, Kingston councillors have voted to direct the mayor to write to the Premier “seeking his intervention to suspend the recently announced changes to the City of Kingston ward boundaries”. The motion approved by councillors at their 22 June meeting read that the request to suspend planned boundary changes “is based on the lack of consultation by the minister and his department with the community or council. Furthermore the minister has chosen to completely ignore the recommendations of the recent Victorian Electoral Commission review. Considering the devastating allegations made against the minister in the media it is imperative that this council be absolutely confident that the changes were made in the interests of the Kingston community rather than for any alternative motivation the minister may have had.” The change to single member wards
defied a recommendation made by the Victorian Electoral Commission in October last year. A report completed by the VEC recommended that council should remain split into three wards (“Review recommends more councillors, The News, 16/10/19). The letter that will be sent to the Premier will also request that the local government elections be deferred to a later date. After Mr Somyurek’s sacking, Mr Andrews told media that he was “not aware of any reason to go back over (...) or to be concerned about” decisions made while he was local government minister (“Minister removal wont change law”, The News, 17/6/2020). Kingston Council has recommended to the state government that the new single member wards be named Bunjil, Karkarook, Caruana, Wattle, Chicquita, Como, Derrimut, Yammerbook, Sandpiper, Longbeach, and Banksia.
COVID cases on the rise A CLUSTER of COVID-19 cases has broken out in Patterson Lakes. Of the 75 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Victoria on 29 June, three were linked to a family outbreak in Patterson Lakes. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that there are currently seven residents living in the Kingston municipality with an active case of coronavirus. The total number of positive COVID-19 tests recorded in Victoria stands at 2099 as of 29 June. The number of positive cases returned per day has jumped significantly in the last week. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said “we have made some great progress in slowing the spread of coronavirus, but we are still seeing new cases in the community.” “Don’t take this disease lightly. if you feel unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, you should stay home and get tested,” he said. “If you have any fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell or taste , stay home. Don’t go in to work and don’t visit friends and family. Get tested and stay at home until you get the result. “It remains critical to practice good hygiene in and outside the home. Wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and try to avoid touching your face.” 20 Victorians have died from COVID-19 as of 29 June. Brodie Cowburn
THE new proposed ward boundaries for the Kingston local government area.
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