THE newly elected Yarra Council is more conservative than its predecessor, putting sustainability and liveability programs in doubt, a Greens councillor says.
The council returned to the make-up it had after the 2008 election – Labor and the Greens have three councillors each, the Socialists one and two independents.
Socialist Anthony Main was beaten by independent Phillip Vlahogiannis, while incumbent independent Dale Smedley also fell short.
Re-elected Greens councillor Amanda Stone said her party would push to maintain funding for the Yarra Energy Foundation, which aims to make Yarra carbon natural by 2020, and invest in community gardens and urban agriculture programs.
“This is a more conservative council,” Cr Stone said.
“I’m concerned it will lead to more inappropriate development in Yarra and that we will have difficulties getting alternative transport measures supported or the Yarra Energy Foundation funded.”
To pursue their agendas the Greens or Labor teams will have to win support of the other party, or two of Socialist Stephen Jolly, independent Cr Vlahogiannis and independent Cr Jackie Fristacky.
Labor Cr Geoff Barbour has been joined by two new Labor faces, Simon Huggins and Roberto Colanzi.
Cr Barbour said he would work to deliver existing proposals, including the Lourdes childcare centre, North Fitzroy li Leg 3 brary and indoor sports centre.
Cr Jolly, who topped the polls with 34.2 per cent of the primary vote in Langridge ward, said he would continue to be the “leader of the opposition on council”.
The council will elect a mayor at a Richmond Town Hall meeting on Monday evening.
Council, Melbourne Leader, 5 November 2012
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