New Local Government Minister announced

Victorian Upper House Member for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane was sworn in as the new Minister for Local Government on June 22. 

The new appointment follows the sacking of former Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek, and fellow Labor factional allies Robin Scott and Marlene Kairouz amid branch stacking allegations aired on 60 Minutes in June. 

Mr Leane resigned as President of the Legislative Council on June 18, and was replaced unopposed by Northern Metropolitan Region Member Nazih Elasmar.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Mr Leane would support local councils grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Leane also takes over the portfolios of suburban development and veterans. 

The change in ministers comes at a critical time for municipalities across the state with local government elections to be held on October 24.

While Lord Mayor Sally Capp is the only current councillor to formally announce that she is recontesting, she does have some early competition after it was reported last month that the Labor Party had finalised a ticket for this year’s elections. 

While it is yet to formally announce its ticket publicly, The Age reported on June 3 that Lord Mayoral candidate Phil Reed (Slater and Gordon) would lead Labor’s push, while one-time federal candidate Wesa Chau would run as deputy. 

It’s also understood that Davydd Griffiths - the partner of Labor’s former state member for Melbourne Jennifer Kannis – and Glen Eira councillor Mary Delahunty would run first and second on the ticket, respectively. 

Further election updates will be provided in the August edition of CBD News •

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