Clarke calls it quits as he takes on the design of greener pastures.

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has called it a day and has given notice of his intention to quit the Council having served just over one and a half terms. Peter Clarke has accepted a generous offer from his good friend and Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, to head up the Urban Renewal Authority. A position that comes with twice his salary as a Councillor, his own office, secretary and plenty of opportunity for international travel. Why would you hang around a powerless and non influential City Council when you can enjoy the trappings and benefits of a plum position that has little accountability or oversight?

Clarke’s pending resignation, which takes effect in three weeks time, will cause grief for the City Council and the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC). The VEC must contact all candidates within 14 days of the vacancy occurring to ascertain who is willing and able to continue be elected in a count back of the 2008 City of Melbourne Council ballot. They then have a further 14 days in which to determine the winner and results of the election.

This sounds fine and in theory should be a straight forward exercise given that all the preference votes were transcribed and recorded electronically, but it is not as straight forward as some might think. It is unclear if in fact the VEC has designed, developed and tested its software to process the count back as required under Schedule 3A of the Local Government Act .

The method of calculating the results of a count back are messy in deed.

Analysis of the provision of Schedule 3A has highlighted a number of discrepancies in the way the Count back is to be counted. With votes being redistributed at an overall higher value then should be. Some votes will be counted twice in the process of determining who is elected.

The problem lies in the drafting of the rules and the formula used to determine the transfer value of ballot papers deemed to have contributed to the quota that elected Peter Clarke back in 2008. How ever drafted the rules should be sacked and never allowed to get near the legislative drafting computer again. The main problem being the interpretation of clause 12. Another problematic clause is clause 10 (3) and the definition of “necessary”.

It will be interesting to see what changes the VEC will try and implement to facilitate an electronic count and if those changes are in fact necessary or just desirable. Of course if it can be established that the changes implemented were not necessary in order to conduct a computerised count then they cannot be adopted without causing a jurisdictional error – which could lead to possible challenges in the courts.


Preliminary Analysis indicates that there are two main contenders for the vacancy that will be created. First is Dr Jackie Watts, who was second on Peter Clarke ticket, the other possible contender is a second Green’s candidate – Rohan Leppert.

We will wait with baited breath to see just how open and transparent the recount process is and if Candidates will have the same rights to appoint scrutineers to oversee the recount process. A scrutineer can only do their job if they are given access to the detailed information records and transfers of the votes. Thankfully copies of the preference data-files were published back in 2008 so it should be possible to independently verify the results of the count back election before hand.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST

It depends on how much the Victorian Election Commission will charge the City of Melbourne for the recount. This is another issue that is worth watching more closely.

Given that the VEC is the only organisation that can conduct the count they can overcharge the City of Melbourne, as they did when the rate payers were slugged $200,000 to develop the counting software in the first place back in 2002.

Thanks to a poorly negotiated contract by Alison Lyons, the City of Melbourne retained no IP rights or value for its investment. It was just money transferred from the General Rate Revenue to the VEC developers pockets.

Clarke calls it quits as he takes on the design of greener pastures.

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has called it a day and has given notice of his intention to quit the Council having served just over one and a half terms. Peter Clarke has accepted a generous offer from his good friend and Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, to head up the Urban Renewal Authority. A position that comes with twice his salary as a Councillor, his own office, secretary and plenty of opportunity for international travel. Why would you hang around a powerless and non influential City Council when you can enjoy the trappings and benefits of a plum position that has little accountability or oversight?

Clarke’s pending resignation, which takes effect in three weeks time, will cause grief for the City Council and the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC). The VEC must contact all candidates within 14 days of the vacancy occurring to ascertain who is willing and able to continue be elected in a count back of the 2008 City of Melbourne Council ballot. They then have a further 14 days in which to determine the winner and results of the election.

This sounds fine and in theory should be a straight forward exercise given that all the preference votes were transcribed and recorded electronically, but it is not as straight forward as some might think. It is unclear if in fact the VEC has designed, developed and tested its software to process the count back as required under Schedule 3A of the Local Government Act .

The method of calculating the results of a count back are messy in deed.

Analysis of the provision of Schedule 3A has highlighted a number of discrepancies in the way the Count back is to be counted. With votes being redistributed at an overall higher value then should be. Some votes will be counted twice in the process of determining who is elected.

The problem lies in the drafting of the rules and the formula used to determine the transfer value of ballot papers deemed to have contributed to the quota that elected Peter Clarke back in 2008. How ever drafted the rules should be sacked and never allowed to get near the legislative drafting computer again. The main problem being the interpretation of clause 12. Another problematic clause is clause 10 (3) and the definition of “necessary”.

It will be interesting to see what changes the VEC will try and implement to facilitate an electronic count and if those changes are in fact necessary or just desirable. Of course if it can be established that the changes implemented were not necessary in order to conduct a computerised count then they cannot be adopted without causing a jurisdictional error – which could lead to possible challenges in the courts.


Preliminary Analysis indicates that there are two main contenders for the vacancy that will be created. First is Dr Jackie Watts, who was second on Peter Clarke ticket, the other possible contender is a second Green’s candidate – Rohan Leppert.

We will wait with baited breath to see just how open and transparent the recount process is and if Candidates will have the same rights to appoint scrutineers to oversee the recount process. A scrutineer can only do their job if they are given access to the detailed information records and transfers of the votes. Thankfully copies of the preference data-files were published back in 2008 so it should be possible to independently verify the results of the count back election before hand.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST

It depends on how much the Victorian Election Commission will charge the City of Melbourne for the recount. This is another issue that is worth watching more closely.

Given that the VEC is the only organisation that can conduct the count they can overcharge the City of Melbourne, as they did when the rate payers were slugged $200,000 to develop the counting software in the first place back in 2002.

Thanks to a poorly negotiated contract by Alison Lyons, the City of Melbourne retained no IP rights or value for its investment. It was just money transferred from the General Rate Revenue to the VEC developers pockets.

Clarke calls it quits as he takes on the design of greener pastures.

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has called it a day and has given notice of his intention to quit the Council having served just over one and a half terms. Peter Clarke has accepted a generous offer from his good friend and Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, to head up the Urban Renewal Authority. A position that comes with twice his salary as a Councillor, his own office, secretary and plenty of opportunity for international travel. Why would you hang around a powerless and non influential City Council when you can enjoy the trappings and benefits of a plum position that has little accountability or oversight?

Clarke’s pending resignation, which takes effect in three weeks time, will cause grief for the City Council and the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC). The VEC must contact all candidates within 14 days of the vacancy occurring to ascertain who is willing and able to continue be elected in a count back of the 2008 City of Melbourne Council ballot. They then have a further 14 days in which to determine the winner and results of the election.

This sounds fine and in theory should be a straight forward exercise given that all the preference votes were transcribed and recorded electronically, but it is not as straight forward as some might think. It is unclear if in fact the VEC has designed, developed and tested its software to process the count back as required under Schedule 3A of the Local Government Act .

The method of calculating the results of a count back are messy in deed.

Analysis of the provision of Schedule 3A has highlighted a number of discrepancies in the way the Count back is to be counted. With votes being redistributed at an overall higher value then should be. Some votes will be counted twice in the process of determining who is elected.

The problem lies in the drafting of the rules and the formula used to determine the transfer value of ballot papers deemed to have contributed to the quota that elected Peter Clarke back in 2008. How ever drafted the rules should be sacked and never allowed to get near the legislative drafting computer again. The main problem being the interpretation of clause 12. Another problematic clause is clause 10 (3) and the definition of “necessary”.

It will be interesting to see what changes the VEC will try and implement to facilitate an electronic count and if those changes are in fact necessary or just desirable. Of course if it can be established that the changes implemented were not necessary in order to conduct a computerised count then they cannot be adopted without causing a jurisdictional error – which could lead to possible challenges in the courts.


Preliminary Analysis indicates that there are two main contenders for the vacancy that will be created. First is Dr Jackie Watts, who was second on Peter Clarke ticket, the other possible contender is a second Green’s candidate – Rohan Leppert.

We will wait with baited breath to see just how open and transparent the recount process is and if Candidates will have the same rights to appoint scrutineers to oversee the recount process. A scrutineer can only do their job if they are given access to the detailed information records and transfers of the votes. Thankfully copies of the preference data-files were published back in 2008 so it should be possible to independently verify the results of the count back election before hand.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST

It depends on how much the Victorian Election Commission will charge the City of Melbourne for the recount. This is another issue that is worth watching more closely.

Given that the VEC is the only organisation that can conduct the count they can overcharge the City of Melbourne, as they did when the rate payers were slugged $200,000 to develop the counting software in the first place back in 2002.

Thanks to a poorly negotiated contract by Alison Lyons, the City of Melbourne retained no IP rights or value for its investment. It was just money transferred from the General Rate Revenue to the VEC developers pockets.

So calls it quits Exits as the high note begins to fade

John So, Melbourne’s beleaguered Lord Mayor has called it a day.


John So has come under pressure lately for his lack of performance, poor financial management and policy vacuum.

John So faced with stiff competition has bowed out of the race rather then face a challenge. Accompanied by his wife and family John announced his decision to not stand at a press conference held today at the Town hall

So calls it quits Exits as the high note begins to fade

John So, Melbourne’s beleaguered Lord Mayor has called it a day.


John So has come under pressure lately for his lack of performance, poor financial management and policy vacuum.

John So faced with stiff competition has bowed out of the race rather then face a challenge. Accompanied by his wife and family John announced his decision to not stand at a press conference held today at the Town hall

So calls it quits Exits as the high note begins to fade

John So, Melbourne’s beleaguered Lord Mayor has called it a day.


John So has come under pressure lately for his lack of performance, poor financial management and policy vacuum.

John So faced with stiff competition has bowed out of the race rather then face a challenge. Accompanied by his wife and family John announced his decision to not stand at a press conference held today at the Town hall

Switching Leagues Geelong versus Melbourne

With the 2008 Grand Final over and Hawthorn basking in glory whilst Geelong is left scarping with their tail between their legs next seasons talent scouts are planning and plotting who will run where in the November Municipal Elections.

Last week Jeff Kennett, Victorious president of the Hawthorn Football club, put to rest any suggestion that he was running for Melbourne’s Lord Mayor leaving an open position for his wife Felicity Kennett to seek the Lord Mayor’s gold chains and robes.

The Herald-sun add to the list of would be hopefuls by suggesting that Robert Doyle, former State opposition Leader, is also considering his position and possible nomination as the parties seek to renew the old.

There has even been a suggestion that former Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor for one year Peter McMullin may seek to recontest the Lord Mayor’s seat. Peter McMullin made an unsuccessful bid to win the keys to the Lord Mayor’s Limo in 2001 and has since been hiding out in Geelong where he did a stint as Victoria’s Second City Mayor.

If the rumors are true then Peter McMullin, having lost pre-selection for Corrangamite in 2007, may switch leagues again and return to the Melbourne City playing field .

Meanwhile J0hn So is yet to announce if he will or if he won’t be running for a third term. Pressure is on for John to stand aside and if he does decide to run he will not fare as well as he did back in 2004.

Bookmakers are not taking any bets until the next season players’ selection is known.

Switching Leagues Geelong versus Melbourne

With the 2008 Grand Final over and Hawthorn basking in glory whilst Geelong is left scarping with their tail between their legs next seasons talent scouts are planning and plotting who will run where in the November Municipal Elections.

Last week Jeff Kennett, Victorious president of the Hawthorn Football club, put to rest any suggestion that he was running for Melbourne’s Lord Mayor leaving an open position for his wife Felicity Kennett to seek the Lord Mayor’s gold chains and robes.

The Herald-sun add to the list of would be hopefuls by suggesting that Robert Doyle, former State opposition Leader, is also considering his position and possible nomination as the parties seek to renew the old.

There has even been a suggestion that former Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor for one year Peter McMullin may seek to recontest the Lord Mayor’s seat. Peter McMullin made an unsuccessful bid to win the keys to the Lord Mayor’s Limo in 2001 and has since been hiding out in Geelong where he did a stint as Victoria’s Second City Mayor.

If the rumors are true then Peter McMullin, having lost pre-selection for Corrangamite in 2007, may switch leagues again and return to the Melbourne City playing field .

Meanwhile J0hn So is yet to announce if he will or if he won’t be running for a third term. Pressure is on for John to stand aside and if he does decide to run he will not fare as well as he did back in 2004.

Bookmakers are not taking any bets until the next season players’ selection is known.

Switching Leagues Geelong versus Melbourne

With the 2008 Grand Final over and Hawthorn basking in glory whilst Geelong is left scarping with their tail between their legs next seasons talent scouts are planning and plotting who will run where in the November Municipal Elections.

Last week Jeff Kennett, Victorious president of the Hawthorn Football club, put to rest any suggestion that he was running for Melbourne’s Lord Mayor leaving an open position for his wife Felicity Kennett to seek the Lord Mayor’s gold chains and robes.

The Herald-sun add to the list of would be hopefuls by suggesting that Robert Doyle, former State opposition Leader, is also considering his position and possible nomination as the parties seek to renew the old.

There has even been a suggestion that former Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor for one year Peter McMullin may seek to recontest the Lord Mayor’s seat. Peter McMullin made an unsuccessful bid to win the keys to the Lord Mayor’s Limo in 2001 and has since been hiding out in Geelong where he did a stint as Victoria’s Second City Mayor.

If the rumors are true then Peter McMullin, having lost pre-selection for Corrangamite in 2007, may switch leagues again and return to the Melbourne City playing field .

Meanwhile J0hn So is yet to announce if he will or if he won’t be running for a third term. Pressure is on for John to stand aside and if he does decide to run he will not fare as well as he did back in 2004.

Bookmakers are not taking any bets until the next season players’ selection is known.

So’s vote is in the post John So’s day of Shame

John So has used his numbers to force the City of Melbourne into holding it’s election next year by postal vote.

The 2004 postal vote Election cost the City of Melbourne in excess of 1.2 Million dollars and critics of John So’s proposal question the integrity of the postal voting system with allegation that the system is wide open to abuse and fraud.

Under the current provisions of the Local Government Act the City Council must determine if the election is be to held by postal or attendance voting.

The Local Government Act should be changed to allow for a combination of attendance and postal voting with Postal votes automatic being issued to those who do not resident within the city and the option of attendance voting available to inner city residents.

John So sat in the council chamber stoned faced and refused to outline on what basis he decided to overturn the committee recommendation amidst calls of Shame Shame Shame from the public gallery.

Mayor votes to go postal despite critics
The Age September 26, 2007

A backlash is building against Lord Mayor John So among a coalition of inner-city resident groups that have vowed to campaign against him.

The pledge from 33 resident groups followed a decision by Cr So last night to use his numbers on the Melbourne City Council to dump a push for attendance voting at council elections – a system that might have hurt his chances of re-election.

To cries of “Shame! Shame!” from the public galleries, the Lord Mayor used his vote to back postal voting.

Postal voting favours cashed-up candidates like Cr So, a wealthy restaurateur who has spent more than $300,000 on his two successful mayoral campaigns in 2001 and 2004.

Candidates need money to spend on expensive mail-outs. Postal voting also encourages the expensive practice of setting up large teams of dummy candidates – as Cr So did in 2004.

The Lord Mayor refused to speak on the issue last night.

Since 1996, Melbourne City Council has conducted elections by post.

Resident groups pledged to campaign against the Lord Mayor.

“If John So wants to continue the (current) system, the voters of the electorate will need to take their campaign for change out to the full electorate and any other areas of influence,” said Melbourne Business Council chairman Peter Nicoll.

Cr So sat stone-faced while councillors poured scorn on him.

Liberal Party councillor Fiona Snedden accused him of not having the courage to tell the council chamber why he preferred postal voting.

“In three months of debate (on this) I have not heard you speak once about why you prefer postal voting. Tell us why!” she yelled.

Victoria’s 79 councils will go to the polls on Saturday, November 29, 2008, the first time all councils will vote on the same day. Most will use postal voting.