Leave party politics on Facebook, says new Mildura mayor

Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence. Picture: Louise Barker
Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence. Picture: Louise Barker

MILDURA’S new mayor Simon Clemence says party politics should be left to councillors’ Facebook pages and not impact decisions made in the council chambers. 

His comments come after councillor Glenn Milne took to his public Facebook page after Wednesday’s mayoral elections, posting: “as per the plan, gender equity out the window, boys club rules”.

Cr Milne followed this by telling Sunraysia Daily yesterday: “I’m disappointed that there isn’t a woman in either position, mayor or deputy.”

Cr Min Poole, who had Cr Milne’s backing in her tilt for both the mayor and deputy mayor jobs, was defeated two votes to six by Cr Clemence and three votes to five by deputy mayor Jason Modica.

Cr Clemence declined to respond to whether councillors’ political leanings had any impact on Wednesday’s mayoral election, but later said there was a “bit of party politics at play” with some of the comments being “thrown around”. 

“I don’t necessarily think that’s wrong or bad, it’s just the nature of the people involved – they’re going to support one point of view or the other,” he said.

However, Cr Clemence quashed any suggestion this impacted the council’s decisions.

“I think people are professional enough to leave their party politics to their Facebook page … the council business is the council business,” he said.

In October, Cr Milne referenced a mayor “plan” when asked who had his vote for the mayoral election.

He explained his belief that there was a “current boys club” of councillors who had planned the order of Mildura’s future mayors.

The day before the mayoral election, he also wrote on his Facebook page: “it will be interesting to see if gender equity is supported when it comes to electing the mayor, or if the plan is followed by the team to elect the next in line as per the plan ...”

Cr Clemence denied Cr Milne’s claims, however he said politics was inherently a “numbers game”.

“Certainly councillors do lobby and discuss and we have lobbied and discussed what we want to happen, who we want to be in place and that happens every year – it’s always happened,” he said yesterday.

“That’s the nature of politics and you have to basically shore up your position and get the numbers – it’s a numbers game.”

This story appears in Friday's Sunraysia Daily 09/11/2018. To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here