I am very humbled to have been re-elected so convincingly by the people of Altona, Altona Meadows, Altona North, Brooklyn and Seaholme. I never expected to gain the highest percentage primary vote of any councillor in the western suburbs of Melbourne and am extremely grateful. Despite the ongoing attacks over the last few years by certain councillors and constant negative reporting by a local newspaper, the community clearly supports me and gave me a mandate to continue the work I have done over the last 4 years. I thank them for that support and promise I will not take their trust for granted.
In addition to the community at large, I would like to publicly thank my partner and family for their love and patience. Being a Mayor and a councillor is a huge commitment and I appreciate all they have done to assist and support me.
I am also grateful to the Hobsons Bay Residents Association and many local residents who have given me much support and assistance over the last four years. I promise I will remain as passionate and committed to serving the local community as I have in the last 10 years, and look forward to our ongoing friendship.
I also want to acknowledge all the candidates that stood in the election. It’s not easy putting your name on a ballot form and exposing yourself to public scrutiny. I know many of them would have served the community well and I would like to encourage them to remain involved in civic life, whether that be with the residents association, a service club or a local friends group.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank my friends former Mayors Bill Tehan and Michael Raffoul, and former Deputy Mayor John Hogg. All three were excellent councillors and over the course of the last term we became good friends. It was a privilege and an honour to serve on the council with such passionate and committed people.
Now that the election is over I am keen to look ahead, whilst also being respectful and honest about the past. I intend to work as I always have – openly and with respect for all my fellow councillors and the council administration. That said, I am not into re-writing history so working with councillors who have relentlessly attacked me over the last few years is going to be difficult. This is a challenge I am nonetheless willing to face in the interests of getting the best outcomes for our community, but it is with regret that these councillors refuse to acknowledge their behaviour and make amends.
As I pledged after the last election, I promise to always work with honesty and integrity, and to put the Hobsons Bay community first.