今次選舉的一個特色，是各選區進行單議席選舉， 選區比之前的雙議席或三議席選舉縮小了一半或三分之二。候選人由很小的社區選出，選舉結果預期很難預測。在墨爾本華人聚居的東區，早幾個月已我們見到大量華人表達要成為候選人，爭取選民支持。有華人早在數月前已經在車站等公眾地方拉票。在博士山巿中心商業區的選區， 有六位華人參選，其中多位從事地產行業。
An uncertain change in local council election
Victorian Council Election will start on 24 October and all nominations were in by 22 September noon.
One special feature of this election is the single-member seat meaning a half of two-third reduction compared to previous 2-member seat and 3-member seat system. Candidates representing small electorates will make outcome more unpredictable. Months ago I have noticed many Chinese candidates came out for election campaign in the Eastern suburbs with high Chinese population. Just in Boxhill central commercial area there are six candidates with several from the real estates industry.
Many of this lot of candidates, mainly from hospitality and commerce sectors, do not really possess community serving experience. In the coming month they will swamp out for their public appearance. I remember years ago there was a Melbourne city mayor candidate, a Chinese real estate agent, who used extensive advertising coverage in Chinese publication to promote her support from local community leaders. This exaggerated propaganda only painted her as a successful real estate agent rather than a popular politician.
To enrol as an election candidate is the right for any qualified person but not as an opportunity for personal propaganda. Voters need to see a candidate’s track record, commitment and achievement in community serving. We Chinese living in the Eastern suburbs must use our discerning voting power in selecting the right and candid candidate for our local government.
Two weeks ago Premier Andrew proposed outdoor dining as a way out amid pandemic social restrictions. This is a good news for Chinese catering industry but there could be difficulties under various local Council regulations. I have been in touch with three Chinese Councillors from Manningham, Whitehorse and Monash to see how the Councils can facilitate Chinese eatery outlets in this process for higher business turnover. These serving Councillors have been very keen in approaching the Council CEOs for support in the interest of our Chinese business communities.
I hope in this election those with track record of serving the community could succeed in retaining their seats, rather than for some opportunists to prevail through joint hands. This hinges on the voters’ informed and careful exercising of their voting right in hand.
Raymond Chow, Publisher