No election in Ararat Rural City

ARARAT - Ararat Rural City residents will not go to the polls this month, after one of the candidates retired, leaving the situation of an uncontested election.

Lake Bolac's Frank Deutsch retired as a candidate, leaving seven candidates for the seven positions available on Council.

The Victorian Electoral Commission confirmed that the seven remaining candidates, Ian Harris, Murray Woods, Fay Hull, Gwenda Allgood, Ian Wilson, Gary Hull and Colin McKenzie will be declared councillors a declaration ceremony at 12 noon on October 27 at the Ararat municipal offices.

Mr Deutsch declined to comment on his decision to retire as a candidate when contacted by The Ararat Advertiser yesterday.

Other candidates, many of whom were unaware of the situation, expressed their disappointment yesterday that there would not be an election in 2012.

Ian Harris said it was unfortunate for members of the community that there will be no opportunity to exercise some sort of preference.

"But personally, I will not see this as an easy advance and will take my service to the community seriously as I have indicated before," he said.

Mr Harris said he would remain committed to seeing that council worked with the community.

"I will be proud to serve Ararat Rural City," Mr Harris said.

Murray Woods expressed his shock at the news there would not be an election.

"It's disappointing, because after all, it's good for the people if there is an election," he said.

"I was disappointed that there wasn't enough candidates in the first place - there's nothing like competition.

"I know it's a cost to have an election, but it's good to see that people are keen and that there will be new blood.

"Now we're just walking back in."

Fay Hull said for that any candidate who nominated and made a commitment but then, on reflecting on this commitment decided they couldn't do it, it was far better to do it at this point, prior to an election.

"I was disappointed at the time that it was only going to be an eight horse race, which either indicates that there wasn't enough willing to take it on or (people) had been put off council over the last four years," she said.

"Not going to the election means that the community doesn't have a say."

Gwenda Allgood said the situation of Ararat Rural City Council not going to election was unfortunate.

"It's always nice when you do go to an election, it gives people an option," she said.

"But it's a very personal decision when you decide not to go with it."

Colin McKenzie also indicated his disappointment that there would be no election.

"It is always more desirable to have an election and gives choice for those who are selecting a councillor," he said.

"I feel sympathy for the candidate who pulled out, who would have been sincere in his wanting to stand, but has obviously had a good look at the implications and has had to pull out."

Candidates Ian Wilson and Gary Hull did not wish to comment.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop