Sarah Hathway from Socialist Alliance was declared elected to Windermere Ward of the City of Greater Geelong by a Victorian Electoral Commission count-back on June 28.
This follows the surprise resignation of an independent Councillor Kylie Grzybek in May. Hathway received the next highest vote (15.81%) in the 2020 election.
Hathway, who has been part of the community campaign against council’s cuts to libraries and local pools, told Green Left she was looking forward to fighting with disadvantaged communities.
“I am looking forward to working with my community in the northern suburbs, particularly Norlane and Corio, which are two of the most disadvantaged suburbs in Victoria. A number of grassroots-initiated projects are not being supported by council, so there’s plenty of work to do. I’ll have monthly ward meetings to listen to residents’ concerns and ideas for campaigns.
“As well as trying to recoup funding for the ward, we need to improve council’s community engagement, transparency and accountability. So many residents are angry about the budget cuts and frustrated by what has appeared to be a series of undemocratic processes.”
Council adopted a budget on June 27, which includes cutting 19 community development jobs.
Save Geelong West Library campaign activist Angela Carr told GL: “We’re all wrapped that Sarah, who has campaign experience and who is not afraid to speak up, now has the council position.”