Archive: Cr. Joe Morabito

Last Updated  25/10/14


Cr. Joe Morabito Resigns From Macedon Ranges Council

(25/10/14 - C)   Countback of Cr. Morabito's ballot papers, not a new election (by-election), will decide a replacement Councillor   

Macedon Ranges Council's website says Cr. Morabito resigned on Thursday 23/10/14 (almost exactly two years into a four year term).  Reports are that ill-health is the trigger, which would not be surprising as many have noted and commented that he has not looked well for some time.


The Councillor's resignation triggers an electoral countback process, in which defeated candidates at the 2012 East Ward election are invited to participate.  A by-election will not be held unless a replacement Councillor cannot be produced by the countback.  Only the votes which elected Cr. Morabito (i.e. Cr. Morabito's votes) will be re-distributed to eligible countback candidates.  This countback process is now recognised as not sufficiently democratic because the result may produce a winner who didn't get many votes at the original election.  Electoral reforms put forward recently by Petro Georgiou propose that ALL votes be included in future countbacks, not just those of the retiring Councillor, as now.  For information about East ward candidates and preferencing, see MRRA's 2012 Council Election Archive.   Also see the Victorian Electoral Commission's website for information about countback processes.


MRRA Lodges Formal Complaint About Cr. Joe Morabito

(21/8/09 - C)  Association says Councillor's behaviour steps over what is tolerable 

MRRA last week lodged a formal complaint about Cr. Joe Morabito's recent behaviour with the Ombudsman and the Office of Local Government Victoria.  The Mayor of Macedon Ranges Shire, Cr. John Letchford, has been advised of the Association's action.



Conduct Unbecoming: Has Morabito Gone Too Far?

(22/7/09 - C)  Councillor turns on MRRA, but in reality it's also an attack on all residents


In yesterday's Midland Express, Councillor Joe Morabito again showed he apparently has scant understanding of how a Councillor is supposed to behave, with an inaccurate and defamatory letter, this time railing against Macedon Ranges Residents' Association Inc. This is the latest in a series of published letters from the Councillor criticizing those he seems to feel disagree with him.


The problem the Councillor has is that the Councillor Code of Conduct - the Code which sets down standards of behaviour for Councillors - says, amongst other things, the following:



    4. Councillors must behave in accordance with these principles:


    4.1 General Conduct. You must avoid conduct that:

    4.1.1 contravenes the Act, regulations and local laws;

    4.1.2 is detrimental to the achievement of the Councils plans and policies;

    4.1.3 is improper or unethical;

    4.1.4 is an abuse of power or otherwise amounts to misconduct;

    4.1.5 causes, comprises or involves intimidation, harassment or verbal abuse;

    4.1.6 causes, comprises or involves discriminatory disadvantage or adverse treatment;

    4.1.7 causes, comprises or involves prejudice in the provision of services to the community.
    4.2 You must act lawfully, honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence in carrying out your function under the Act or any other Act (section 76 B (1)).


    4.3 You must treat others with respect at all times.


    4.4 You must not make improper use of your position as a Councillor to:

    4.4.1 Gain, or attempt to gain an advantage (directly or indirectly) for yourself or any other person;

    4.4.2 Cause or attempt to cause detriment to the Council.
4.5 You must not take advantage of your position to improperly influence other Council officials in the performance of their public or professional duties to secure a private benefit for yourself or for somebody else.


4.6 You must not take advantage (or seek to take advantage) of your status or position with, or functions performed for, council in order to obtain unauthorised or unfair benefit for yourself or for any other person or body.


4.7 You must not make improper use of information acquired because of your position to gain, or attempt to gain an advantage (directly or indirectly) for yourself or for any other person, or to cause, or attempt to cause damage to the council. ( section 76 B (3) (b) (i, ii )


4.8 You have an obligation to consider issues consistently, promptly and fairly. This involves dealing with matters in accordance with established procedures, in a non-discriminatory manner.
4.9 You must take all relevant facts known to you, or that you should be reasonably aware of, into consideration and have regard to the particular merits of each case. You must not take irrelevant matters or circumstances into consideration when making decisions.


4.10 You must not harass, discriminate against, or support others who harass and discriminate against colleagues or members of the public. This includes, on the grounds of sex, pregnancy, age, race (including colour, nationality, descent, ethnic or religious background) political affiliation, marital status, disability, homosexuality or transgender.)


4.11 You will inevitably deal personally with your council (eg. as a ratepayer, recipient of a council service or applicant from a consent granted by council). You must not expect or request preferential treatment for your self or your family because of your position. You must avoid any action that could lead members of the public to believe that you are seeking preferential treatment.


    7   You will treat all people with courtesy and respect, recognising that legitimate differences of opinion can arise on issues and   matters considered by Council.


          7.1   You will treat members of the community with dignity ensuring that you don't cause offence or embarrassment to them.

Could an observer form a view that Cr. Morabito's behaviour breaches the Code he is bound to uphold as a Councillor?  Breaches are a reportable 'offence'.


Residents can make complaints about Councillor conduct and breaches of the Code of Conduct and Local Government Act to the Mayor, Councillor John Letchford, and also the Office of Local Government, and the Ombudsman.  Click here for information about Codes, making complaints and contact details.


Click here to see Cr. Morabito's latest letter.


MRRA Says:


More threats?  More bullying?  More inaccurate statements?  More wild accusations?  More defamation? 


In MRRA's view this is not conduct becoming a Councillor.


Considered together, Cr. Morabito's public tirades in just the last few weeks are against the community as a whole, and unacceptable. Threatening to call for an inquiry if anyone objected to the Romsey Outline Development Plan when it was recently placed on exhibition, angry words against another Councillor, an angry attack on another member of the community, and now MRRA, suggests an emerging pattern of behaviour where no-one may be safe from his abuse. 


Why is Mr. Morabito a Councillor?  What does he think the role of a Councillor consists of?  Perhaps he is unaware of the picture his letters paint of his character and priorities.  We are hearing people , which we are hearing are beginning to provoke questions within the community as to his suitability to be a Councillor.


MRRA is considering the most appropriate action to take with regard to Cr. Morabito's latest letter but provides the following advice:.


As far as we know, no-one in MRRA is on drugs or hallucinating, as Councillor Morabito suggests, including our Secretary. 


Rosemary Homewood, MRRA's former esteemed Treasurer and Public Officer, stood down from the former Romsey Council after serving 12 months (not 6 as Morabito claims) after being diagnosed with MS [Multiple Sclerosis].  Cr. Morabito resigned in 2004 after being a councillor for some 18 months, the timing of which coincided with Council's refusal to approve a planning permit for logging in the Cobaws.


The Association operates within its Purposes.  These are our values and what the Association stands for.


MRRA removed an article from its website in May titled "Is It True?  Hot Rumours Going Around That Kyneton Bowling Club Is In Receivership" after receiving a letter from GARLAND HAWTHORN BRAHE lawyers acting for Kyneton Bowling Club.  We did so without recognising or acknowledging any cause, and demanded answers to several questions.  We understand that some local media likewise received letters on behalf of the Bowling Club.  We further understand that the relationship between the Kyneton Bowling Club and Council is now being reviewed by the Auditor General. 


We are not aware of a good reason for removing comments relating to Cr. Morabito from our website.  In the absence of cause, our belief is that the principles of free speech, fair comment and public interest prevail over the Councillor's dislike of anything we may say.



Romsey Outline Development Plan [ODP] - Submissions In By June 5

(30/5/09 - P)  There are changes here that beg for community objections - for starters, why is lovely, little Romsey down to become an industrial town?  Who or what is driving this gob-smacking proposal? 


The Romsey Outline Development Plan is out for community consultation until June 5.  With East Ward (Romsey) councillor Joe Morabito apparently adamant no further consultation was needed, Council almost decided not to let residents see the most recent in a long list of changes that have been made to the plan over its now 4 year lifespan.  Take a bow the Councillors who supported going back to the people.


The ODP is critically important to Romsey's future because it will set in place the directions Romsey will go in until 2021 and on to 2031. This includes where new residential, business and industrial zoning will go, how much, and what type it will be.  Now's the time to speak up, or be prepared to hold your peace until at least 2021! 


We couldn't find much information about making submissions on Council's website except that submissions close on 5th June, and you can email Council for more information. 


Check it out by going to Council's website at "For Your Comment" on the Home Page, or click this link (


You can get the ODP's supporting documentation including maps and reports from Council's website, but they are big files and we found it took far longer (hours, not minutes) than it should have to download the documents. Anyone on dial-up don't even try, contact Council for a hard copy.


MRRA Says:

Cr. Joe Morabito's letter to the editor last week set our interest in the Romsey ODP alight.  We hadn't put Cr. Joe down as someone with a passionate interest in strategic planning so, knowing he had already opposed putting the Romsey ODP on public exhibition, when he came out in print full of effusive praise for the ODP, and warning (dare we say threatening?) he would call an enquiry if anyone objected to it, we were fairly bursting to see it. 


And having seen it, we have to say it's a bit of a worry.  Poor old Romsey is awash with industrial and semi-industrial land.  Pops up everywhere!  There's also what seems to be a large if not excessive swathe of medium density or unit development opportunities proposed for already developed residential areas, and not necessarily near the town centre, either!  We would have thought turning Romsey into an industrial town with mews-style development for workers was a long way from where most Romsey residents want the town to go. 


Frankly, the basis for this mass industrialization gave us a bit of a giggle.  It seems that because the last census said there were people who live in Romsey who work in 'industry' - regardless of whether they work in industry in Romsey, Melbourne or Frankston - the conclusion is that acres and acres and acres of land in Romsey should be rezoned for industrial purposes to let all those 'industry' people work from 'home'.  According to the ODP doco, real estate agents loved it too.  Hmm... No glaringly obvious strategic basis or justification there, so 'fraid it's back to the drawing board... 


Had a deliciously wicked thought though - doesn't it just make you wonder what the ODP would have looked like if the census had shown Romsey was awash with people who work in prostitution, or are train drivers? 


You know what else is odd?  Only last year the Department of Planning released an audit of industrial land in provincial Victoria which  included Romsey (report, plan).  The audit found there were some 29 vacant industrial lots within Romsey's existing industrial zones, and vacancy rates of 40% for industrial land and 14% for industrial lots. That seems to suggest Romsey isn't exactly white hot with 'on-ground' demand for industrial land, otherwise what's there now would be bursting at the seams.


And finally, as is the case whenever any piece of planning seems to have been picked over by many hands, there are mis-matched plans turning up regularly in the ODP documentation.  Darn it, it's always hard to keep track when change after change is made, and the further we go, the more versions of a Romsey ODP we find, and more our hopes fade of finding clear, strategic thinking.  It also seems to confirm that this latest flood of industrial and Business 4 rezoning may be of fairly recent invention.  Why?


As for Cr. Morabito's extraordinary letter...  Is it an attempt to bully the community out of its legal rights to participate in a public process?  We put our thinking caps on but can't remember experiencing anything like this before.  Not only do we find it offensive, we are wondering if Cr. Morabito's behaviour hasn't stepped well past the boundary of acceptable behaviour from a Councillor.


We certainly don't think the Romsey ODP is anywhere near as 'perfect' as Cr. Morabito says it is.  Our message to Romsey residents is to ignore Cr. Morabito, just check the ODP out for yourselves and submit your views by close of business on Friday June 5.



Absolute Shocker As Council Appoints MRRS Ltd Director To Audit Advisory Committee

(12/3/09 - C)  Rejected by voters, but Fritz Boegel makes it onto Council committee via a vote held behind closed doors, and then Council unanimously approves a contested application to expand the Clock and Beaver restaurant.  


Details are sketchy but advice from Council, in response to a question put by MRRA, is that Fritz Boegel, secretary of Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd, has been appointed to be a community representative on Council's Audit Advisory Committee. 


Draft Council Minutes for the February 25 Council meeting include Item CS.5, Appointment of Community Representatives on Audit Advisory Committee.  At this item, according to the Minutes say that the Officer Recommendation was to consider the matter "at the conclusion of that part of this meeting open to the public." ..."as this report concerns matters which Council considers would prejudice the Council or an (sic) person..." 


The motion to move behind closed doors was moved Joe Morabito, seconded Rob Guthrie and carried. There is no record in the Minutes of any resolution resulting from the sojourn in camera, and as far as MRRA is aware, neither has any public announcement been made of the appointment/s. 


The next item on the agenda was CS.6, the appointment of Councillor Delegates on the Audit Advisory Committee.  That is, which Councillors would be on the committee.  The Mayor is automatically appointed.  According to the minutes, it was moved Cr. Guthrie, seconded Cr. Relph and carried that Cr. Joe Morabito be appointed as the Councillor delegate on the committee.


MRRA Says:


Rumours that Audit Committee appointees may be of interest started filtering in, so we followed it up with Council. 


Three things really stand out here. 


First, in 2008 when the company, MRRS Ltd, began splashing itself over local papers claiming to be a community group, MRRA wrote to Council requesting confirmation or otherwise of any Council involvement with MRRS Ltd.  The answer we received was 'none'.  An election later, it seems Council now has a very definite involvement with MRRS Ltd! 


Second, the secrecy surrounding Mr. Boegel's appointment.  Why did Council seal itself off behind closed doors to make a decision?  What was so private it couldn't be considered in public, or the outcome announced in public?  Is it a case of Councillors being brave enough to 'do the deed' but not having the guts to tell anyone?  Hmm?  Because we wouldn't be surprised if that's what some people are going to say it looks like.


Third, Council's decision on who was appointed to the committee is not recorded in the Minutes.  All that is recorded is the motion to make the decision behind doors.  Yet Section 93 of the Local Government Act at subsection (6) says that "the minutes of a meeting of the Council or a special committee must - (a) contain details of the proceedings and resolutions made...".   So how does what is in the Minutes (or not in the Minutes, in this case) sit with the requirements of the legislation?


We don't know which Councillors voted for the appointment (seems that's a secret too), but at a minimum a majority of 5 Councillors did.  Maybe they all did!  Being anonymous could be helpful - when we asked a couple of people if they had heard anything, they expressed horror at the thought of MRRS Ltd having anything to do with Council.


The appointments are, we understand, for a year.  The makeup of the committee appears to be Cr.Morabito, Mr. Boegel, Mr. Barry Sutton (who may have an affiliation with the Macedon Ranges Landowners Group), Mayor Letchford, and another community representative who, as told to us, has a background in financial matters.


When we look at this, and the Kyneton pool debacle, Council definitely isn't off to a good start, is it...  And we've got 4 more years of it to look forward to. 


Click here to see the MRRS Ltd. file, including the current item on the application before Council for a rather large expansion of the Clock and Beaver restaurant in Macedon, in which Mr. Boegel has an interest. 


NOTE: Council last night voted unanimously to approve the Clock and Beaver application to expand the venue from 20 seats to 100, and partially waive car parking requirements.  We understand 9 objections were received. 

Lucky Mr. Boegel, he certainly seems to have a Midas touch when it comes to Council these days!


MRRS Ltd 'Fair Go Independents' Clock Up Another $10,000 For 3 More Full Page, Full Colour Ads In Local Papers?

(19/11/08 - M)  Where's all the money coming from?  Is 'Fair Go' a clue?

This week's local newspapers are again graced by full page, full colour ads featuring MRRS Ltd affiliates, this time claiming to be 'Fair Go  independents'.


The ads feature 8 Council election candidates - Boegel, Elliott and Shepherd (South ward), Peeler, Drago and Wilson (West ward) and Hackett and Nothard (East ward), leaving no doubt that all are part of the same 'team'.


There are also two other 'team' players in South ward that are not shown in the ad - Wiedermann and Jeske, both directors of MRRS Ltd - and all five MRRS Ltd South ward candidates are reportedly sporting the same text on one side of their handouts that implies that the candidate named on the other side is part of a 'group' called "Ratepayers and Residents of the Macedon Ranges Shire".


MRRA has also raised the question of whether Morabito in East ward is affiliated.  


An intriguing feature of the full page, full colour ads is the reference to 'fair go', which residents may remember was the catch-cry of land holders and real estate agents who participated in some meetings, the first initiated in 2005 by Keatings Real Estate of Woodend.  The purpose of the meetings seemed to be to pressure Councillors into allowing landowners to subdivide and put houses on lots in rural zoned land.  The meetings attracted like-minded people from outside Macedon Ranges Shire, and it was from these meetings that the Macedon Ranges Landowners [MRLO] group was born.  See MRRA's reports on these meetings. 


MRLO recently sent a letter to all candidates, which includes the following:


"It has been our view, despite some understandable reservations, that the Macedon Ranges Landowners Committee should refrain from seeking to hector or bully the Council, not to say individual Councilors, in advancing the interests of our constituents."


The letter seems to announce that MRLO is a player in this election and, based on past performances, that its aims and methods of operating don't seem to have changed.


MRRA's candidate survey picked up those candidates who support more development/subdivision in rural land, with several nominating 5 acres as a 'good' size.  This seems to correspond with the aspirations of the Macedon Ranges Landowners group, as embodied in a motion from 30 May 2007, calling for no permits for houses on rural lots of 1.6ha or more.


Is MRRS Ltd 'affiliated with or supported by' Macedon Ranges Landowners group and real estate agents?  Is that where the money - the buckets of money - coming from?  Who is paying the bills?


MRRA Says:


After checking advertising rates for local papers, we estimate that this week's ads alone would have cost MRRS Ltd around $10,000 (and these certainly aren't the only full page ads that have appeared).  In comparison, our Association's total spending on newspaper ads and printing costs has been a fraction of that amount - it's all we could afford.


It's not just the money.  It's the whole tenor of the campaign.  Independents?  There seems to be a cashed-up 'ticket' running here, and the published 'ticket' still doesn't disclose all affiliated candidates that are running.  But preferencing seems to.


What type of democracy do we have if it turns out that 'big money' can buy it, and use it for its own purposes?


As always, we welcome comment.  Send us your thoughts on


Do you think MRRS Ltd has been open and honest with the electorate?


Do you think candidates affiliated with a company should be able to run for council, and not have to identify the company or declare that interest?



MRRS Ltd, East Ward:  Is Morabito The Missing Man?

(16/11/08 - C)  Have two MRRS Ltd affiliates slipped under MRRA's radar?

West Ward:  When MRRA interviewed West ward candidate Joan Drago as part of our candidate survey, like other candidates surveyed, she was asked if she was affiliated with or supported by MRRS Ltd.  Ms Drago said she wasn't.  MRRA accepted her statement at face value and did not identify her as affiliated with MRRS Ltd.  However, Ms Drago is swapping preferences with candidates (Wilson, Peeler) who told MRRA they were affiliated with MRRS Ltd.  In addition, Ms Drago is listed with Peeler and Wilson on MRRS Ltd's West ward caravan, and shares the MRRS Ltd signage "livery".  We now believe Ms Drago should have been identified as having an affiliation with MRRS Ltd.



East Ward: 

When MRRA invited East ward candidate Joe Morabito to participate in its candidate survey, Mr. Morabito responded by saying he would answer our questions if MRRA answered his in front of the editors of local newspapers.  As Mr. Morabito, not MRRA, is a candidate, MRRA declined to accede to Mr. Morabito's demands, and he was listed in MRRA's Star Ratings as 'did not participate in survey'.  Mr. Morabito advised MRRA he would be brutal, would go hard against anyone who bad-mouthed him.  MRRA does not appreciate bullying nor does it consider putting facts before the public to be 'bad-mouthing'.


Mr. Morabito is swapping preferences with MRRS Ltd affiliates, and as with Ms Drago, seems to share MRRS Ltd signage "livery". 


Our apologies for any offensiveness in these signs - several at Riddells Creek (where these photographs were taken) have been defaced.


The East ward MRRS Ltd caravan, however, shows only two candidates, with a third space left blank.  There are unconfirmed reports of a disagreement amongst MRRS Ltd affiliates.     


MRRA's question to Mr. Morabito is:  Are you the MRRS Ltd "missing man"?



The MRRS Ltd Circus Comes To Town

(14/11/08 - C)  Rootin', tootin', in-your-face and OTT?  flags, big top, flyers, badges, trailers, posters, signs, caravans, colour-everything and lollies for kiddies. Crikey - seems the only things missing are the fat lady, sword swallower, calliope and clowns!!

The MRRS Ltd "Fair Go" Tent and the Vote 111 caravan in Gisborne. Apparently they are full of "independents" (see sign at rear)...  Fair Go?  Fair Go?  Isn't that the slogan the Macedon Ranges Landowners group and real estate agents use to yell about getting houses on rural zoned land?  This photo was taken before MRRS Ltd were apparently asked to move on - the story doing the rounds is it seems no permission had been given to park there.


Yes, you could be forgiven for thinking there's a presidential election on instead of a more humble Council one when the MRRS Ltd circus pulled into Gisborne recently.  It seems no expense whatsoever has been spared trying to sell the message to voters that this company is fair dinkum / ridgee-didge / grass-roots / independent / community.  Sky writing wouldn't surprise.  The Australian flag is... um... a nice touch.  Yep, definitely impressive even if no-one can work out why it's there... 


Mmm...  anyone else think a bit of plush red carpet (or better yet, an afghan rug!!) could do wonders pulling the overall colour scheme together?




MRRA Says:


We understand there's one of these 'three-ringers' in each ward.  With a spending frenzy like this, doesn't it make you wonder what type of financial management MRRS Ltd would bring to Council?  Is this the type of frivolous, wasteful, self-serving, whacking-a-walnut-with-a-sledgehammer stuff our rates would be spent on?


Surely MRRS Ltd must have splurged close to a six figure sum by now?  Whatever, it's a lot (and you don't have to be a Rhodes' scholar to work out it's more than other candidates are spending).   Seems the company thinks there's enough to gain by running a mega-budget like this to get there.  Is it just us, or is there something party political about it?  Then again, looking at the mistakes that are being made, perhaps not.  Clue: there's a fairly obvious clanger in the above photo.  See if you can pick what it is...


For anyone who genuinely loves this place the way it is, what MRRS Ltd apparently has in mind is chilling.  And after the 'Fair Go' slogan bobbing up, we have to ask are the Landowners group and real estate agents also involved? 


From what we've been able to pick up about this public company's aims, it apparently has a 50 to 100 year 'long-term' plan for Macedon Ranges, some features of which would appear to be:

 Our concern is that if this is what MRRS Ltd. is really about, voters aren't being told about it.


MRRA believes that what appears to be the MRRS Ltd vision for Macedon Ranges isn't one that most want or share.  Let's hope that the circus and its followers are soon forced to pack up and move on...



Macedon Ranges' Council Election Preferences:  Where Candidates' Preferences Are Going

(14/11/08 - C)  A bit of analysis on where candidates' are sending their preferences reveals some clear allegiances, and some equally clear divides.  White hats and black hats, anyone?

Can you remember how, in the old cowboy movies, the 'good' guys always wore white hats, and the 'baddies' always wore black?  It's starting to look that clearly divided in this Council election, if an analysis of candidates' preferencing sent to MRRA is right.  According to our 'analyst', based on where they are sending their preferences, candidates in all three wards fall roughly into 3 groups.  The patterns speak for themselves, although it's worth keeping in mind that while plenty of preference deals are done, candidates don't always have a say over where other candidates 'preference' them (which is another story for a later date!).  You can find all candidates' preferences at the VEC website at


Here's what's happening in Macedon Ranges:


Read down the column in the following table to see in what order candidates sent their preferences to other candidates (where for example, 5 means fifth preference, 11 means last).  Read across the row to see what order of preferences each candidate received from other candidates.  For example, reading down the column, Joe Morabito has sent his second preferences to Eric Nothard (2), and his third preference to Graham Hackett (3) and so on.  Reading across the row, Mr. Morabito didn't get any second preferences, but got third preferences from Graham Hackett (3) and Eric Nothard (3), and so on.

 East Hackett Northard Morabito McLaughlin Neil Bleeck McGregor Testa Donovan Tighe Roberts
 Donovan 8 8 9 5 2 3 10 4 1 3 3
 Testa 5 7 5 11 11 8 11 1 7  5 4
 McGregor 9 9 8 3 7 7 1 8 10  6 9
 Tighe 7 5 6 10 8 6 2 3 3  1 2
 Roberts 6 6 7 7 3 5 3 2 2  2 1
 Nothard 2 1 2 9 10 11 4 9 9 9 10
 Hackett 1 2 3 4 9 10 5 6 8 8 11
 Neil 10 11 10 6 1 4 6 10 6 11 7
 Morabito 3 3 1 8 4 9 7 11 11 10 8
Bleeck 11 10 11 2 5 1 8 7 4 4 6
McLaughlin 4 4 4 1 6 2 9 5 5 7 5



Read down the column in the following table to see in what order candidates sent their preferences to other candidates (where for example, 5 means fifth preference, 14 means last).  Read across the row to see what order of preferences each candidate received from other candidates.  For example, reading down the column, Christine Roussiyan sent her preferences to Russell Mowatt (2), and her third preference to Helen Relph (3) and so on.  Reading across, Ms. Roussiyan got second preferences from Russell Mowatt (2) and from Helen Relph (2), no third preferences (3), and so on.


 South Shepherd Elliott Boegel Wiedermann Jeske Relph Mowatt Roussiyan Thompson Moore Whitefield Letchford Cassar Guthrie
Relph 8 8 8 8 8 1 3 3 7 9 9 7 7 7
Whitefield 14 14 14 14 14 14 4 4 5 5 1 4 6 6
Mowatt 10 10 10 10 10 3 1 2 9 8 8 9 9 9
Jeske 5 6 7 5 1 13 14 13 12 12 12 12 13 12
Guthrie 13 13 13 13 13 12 13 12 4 2 2 3 3 1
Cassar 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 11 3 3 3 2 1 2
Boegel 2 2 1 2 2 10 11 10 13 13 13 13 12 13
Elliot 3 1 4 3 3 9 10 9 10 11 11 10 10 10
Letchford 12 12 12 12 12 8 9 8 2 4 4 1 2 3
Moore 6 3 2 6 7 7 8 7 6 1 5 6 4 4
Wiedermann 4 7 6 1 5 6 7 6 14 14 14 14 14 14
Thompson 7 4 3 7 6 4 6 5 1 6 6 5 5 5
Roussiyan 9 9 9 9 9 2 2 1 8 7 7 8 8 8
Shepherd 1 5 5 4 4 5 5 14 11 10 10 11 11 11


Read down the column in the following table to see in what order candidates sent their preferences to other candidates (where for example, 5 means fifth preference, 11 means last). Read across the row to see what order of preferences each candidate received from other candidates.  For example, reading down the column, Russell Yardley sent his second preferences to Noel Harvey (2), and his third preference to Henryka Benson (3) and so on.  Reading across, Mr. Yardley got second preferences from Noel Harvey (2) and from Henryka Benson (2), no third preferences (3), and so on.


West Peeler Wilson Drago Harvey Yardley Jukes Todd Benson Livingstone Manning Gyorffy
Gyorffy 7 7 7 9 7 8 11 11 3 3 1
Manning 4 4 4 10 5 6 10 10 2 1 3
Peeler 1 2 2 11 10 11 9 6 8 4 8
Jukes 8 8 8 5 4 1 2 3 5 5 4
Livingstone 6 6 6 6 6 7 8 9 1 2 2
Benson 9 10 9 3 3 3 3 1 9 10 9
Yardley 5 5 5 2 1 4 5 2 4 6 5
Wilson 3 1 3 7 11 9 7 8 7 8 7
Todd 10 9 10 4 8 2 1 5 10 7 10
Harvey 11 11 11 1 2 5 4 4 11 11 11
Drago 2 3 1 8 9 10 6 7 6 9 6



Threats And Whines Come As MRRA Star Ratings Roll Out

(14/11/08 - C)   Hey, guys, there's no point trying to shoot the 'messenger'

There have been some interesting reactions to MRRA's Star Ratings.  In 2005 the Association was lambasted for issuing Star Ratings without speaking to candidates.  We rectified that situation in 2008 by contacting all candidates, other than sitting councillors, and asking questions of them in a phone survey, and 22 of 28 candidates participated.  Sitting councillors were reviewed on their records over the past three year term.  These responses and reviews formed the basis of the Star Ratings. 


It's fairly obvious that some people aren't at all happy that MRRA has assessed and rated candidates.  Over the past 10 days, there have been 6 threats made against the Association, some perhaps of less substance than others.


And there are some candidates who are very unhappy with the Star Rating result they received: it could only have come about because MRRA fiddled around with candidate responses, is not transparent or accountable, is biased, etc. etc. etc.  You no doubt get the drift...


Our questions to candidates were designed to find out more about the candidates, and where they were coming from on a range of issues.  Some questions had set option responses: yes or no; more less or enough; and such like.  Some candidates objected to these questions as being too narrow.  We noted this but allowed all to explain their position if they wished.  Some simply wouldn't be tied down to any answer.


One benefit of the phone interviews was being able to get a 'feel' for the candidate and their views, another was being able to to piece together a bigger picture of each. Responses were used to assess where the candidate was coming from, what they brought to Council, and how they might perform as a councillor.


These responses told us a lot about the candidate, probably more than most realized.


The twist is, while some complain we got it all wrong, we've noticed some aren't telling voters what they told us. That's not to say what they are saying isn't true, but based on the information we have, it perhaps isn't as complete as it might be. 


For example, we haven't noticed some candidates telling voters they support more development, more subdivision, big spending projects.  That they think there's nothing Macedon Ranges can do about population growth or climate change, or that they haven't lived here long, or don't know much about how a council works or the issues council deals with or how to make sound planning decisions, or that they don't support keeping this place rural.  They aren't saying they hesitated at having heritage protection or thought there should be less, or thought the Braemar development and 1000 lot subdivision might be OK, or supported or said there's nothing to stop more pokies, or that they think landscapes are landscaping, or that they knew nothing about Council finances.


But they told us. And that's what we assessed them on. 


Instead of 'shooting' MRRA, perhaps some should have a long hard think about how truly open, honest, transparent and accountable they themselves have been with the electorate.






East Ward
Candidate Star Rating
Robert Van Loon (4.5)

Megs Hannes-Patterson (2.5)

Sandra McGregor (1.5)

Geoff Neil (1.0)

Harold Draeger (0) No Stars
Henry Bleeck (0) No Stars
Joe Morabito (0) No Stars

Star Half Star