Minister removal won’t change law

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THE removal of local government minister Adem Somyurek won’t have an effect on changes made when the new Local Government Act was passed in March this year.

The passage of the act mandated changes to single member wards for most Victorian councils. Kingston Council will change to single member wards at the October election this year.

Premier Daniel Andrews said on 15 June that decisions made by Mr Somyurek while he was local government minister would not be reviewed.

“The minister has taken forward positions endorsed by cabinet. He has made a number of different decisions pursuant to his role as minister. I am not aware of any reason to go back over those or to be concerned about those,” Mr Andrews said.

The change to single member wards had been met with opposition. Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said the move “will increase the likelihood that councils are controlled entirely by major parties and that decision making is dominated by ward interests over the common good of the council area (“Council changes may hurt small parties and independents”, The News, 29/4/19)”.

Mr Somyurek was sacked from the state government cabinet following a 60 Minutes report which made allegations of branch stacking and derogatory behaviour.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 17 June 2020

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