Greens scoop extra spots in inner-city Melbourne councils

The Greens' Samantha Ratnam won in Moreland Council.

Results in the October 22 Victorian local council elections were mixed.

The Greens won big increases in representation in Melbourne’s inner city councils, the two socialist councillors retained their positions, but racists retained their positions on a couple of councils.

The Greens stood more candidates than in previous council elections. They retained 13 of their 16 council seats and won an extra 16 council seats.

Of the extra 16 seats, four were elected to councils which had never had Greens councillors, including Hobsons Bay, Banyule, Monash and Cardinia Shire.

The Greens now have four out of nine positions on Yarra Council, four out of nine positions on Darebin Council and four out of eleven positions on Moreland Council. Greens councillors now outnumber ALP councillors on Yarra, Darebin and Moreland councils.

However, racists were also elected to councils.

Rosalie Crestani, deputy leader of Rise up Australia and a Reclaim Australia supporter, was re-elected to Casey Council along with Sam Aziz. Aziz was the Casey mayor who has done much to promote racism and Islamophobia. Casey Council rejected an application to build a mosque a few days after approving an application to build a church in the same street. The mosque rejection came on the back of an intensely racist anti-Muslim campaign.

According to Greens election analyst Stephen Luntz, the Bendigo Council candidates "put last by the bigots won in all three wards, six of the nine elected were listed as ‘pro-mosque’ on flyers put out by the racists, and the Greens’ Jen Alden ran down a big primary lead from One Nation's sitting councillor to knock her off council.”

While it is a great victory that right-wing racist councillor and former One Nation candidate Elise Chapman lost to the Greens candidate, one of the newly-elected Bendigo councillors is the lead objector to the mosque, Julie Hoskin.

However, Hoskin is outnumbered by councillors who supported the mosque.

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