Congratulations to Mary Delahunty on being elected unopposed as the new Glen Eira mayor this evening. Jim Magee was elected deputy mayor for a period of two years.

Delahunty’s acceptance speech set a new tone for this council, and again we congratulate her on this.

The highlights of her acceptance speech were:

  • that the 5 new councillors were being given a unique opportunity to work for the community. The job comes with opportunity but also challenges.
  • dedicated to leading a ‘cohesive council and achieving the goals of our community’
  • wanted council to be ‘strategic’ and ‘showing the rest of the state what local government can be’ in terms of being a good employer, and having services that ‘are meaningful to the community’m ‘environmentally’ responsible and a council that ‘deals with fiscal responsibilities’ but with a ‘social benefit’. Plus, ‘we can be an absolute force when it comes to community advocacy’.
  • Had ‘faith’ that the ‘diversity around this table will lead to good community outcomes’ and that councillors will ‘respect each other’, the process, ‘this chamber’ and ‘the people who put us here’.
  • There’s the need to make sure that all people ‘feel welcomed and have a voice on council’.
  • There will be opportunities and challenges such as the level crossing removal and making sure that ‘in a constructive way we are putting the best interests of the community forward’. Noted the 2016 Community Satisifaction Survey where there were a ‘few areas’ where ‘people were happy’ but other areas where they weren’t. Of ‘great concern to our community is the intensity of development’ and ‘we have to be more forceful’ and ‘proactive’. Council has to now concentrate on the necessary strategic work and on consulting and protecting heritage and trees. ‘We have to bring the voices of the people into the process’.
  • ‘Good financial management’ whilst important is not an ‘end goal’. They are ‘enablers’ for ‘progress’
  • The racecourse is still an issue and thanked Magee for his work on this. But ‘we will finally put this right’.
  • The ‘community has voted for some change and I’m sure we can deliver that’. ‘We need to be the community representatives but with a strategic mandate’ and ‘we need to make as many opportunities as possible to hear from the residents’ and to ‘adopt a learning posture at all times’. The Local Law doesn’t allow this but does allow the mayor to have ‘discretion’ in deciding what can be asked. ‘I intend to exercise this discretion for 15 minutes’ from the next public meeting (applause).
  • On councillor allowances she will be ‘directing’ that a ‘portion’ of the mayoral allowance be used to fund family violence strategies. Said that as the level of government closest to ‘the people’ that Council needs to ‘play a leading role’ in the safety of the community.

Ended up by thanking family and friends.