With the coming of the New Year we begin to reflect on our past and look towards the future and the things that we should change.
There are many things on our list, most are talked about but never happen for one reason or another we never get around to doing it.
Issues such as an Australian republic and a new flag that better represents Australia as a developing nation. Victoria should also adopt a new State flag. (The issue of a republic – hopefully a model without a direct elected head of state – will be soon back on the agenda with John Howard’s expected retirement)
We need to move on and shrug off our colonial past.
One such issue that we should consider is the abolition of the title “Lord Mayor“. A title that puts the Mayor of Melbourne above all other Victorian cities mayors. A title that enables the incumbent to call himself “The Right Honourable Lord Mayor” as he is introduced or referred to in any formal setting.
It’s time we changed, time we moved on from our colonial imperial past.
Already we have seen the seeds of change.
Upper House member John Lenders, Leader of the Government in the Victorian Legislative Council and Minister for Major Projects has taken the first step and rejected the use of title “The Honourable” which he is able to claim.
John Lenders is one of a few politicians who has shown integrity and commitment to his beliefs.
Hopefully we will see more and more Government Ministers and members of the Legislative Council abandon this out-dated tradition.
Melbourne no longer holds the same significance and importance as it did when Victoria first started out as a British colony. The City boundaries have changed been reduced, Hoddle’s grid has been breach, other cities and municipalities in Victoria have grown in size and now have more people then our capital City.
The head of our City Government no longer needs to retain the title the “Right Honourable Lord Mayor“. It a title that is in deceitful and offensive. You do not need a Title to be a leader amongst your peers. The American City of New York is one such example where the title “Mayor” suffices and is well regarded.
The time has come for the City Council to move forward and take the lead by calling on the State Government to legislate the title out of existence and into the past by relegating it to the pages of our history books.
Anthony van der Craats