Samantha McIntosh considering taking time off

BALLARAT City Councillor Samantha McIntosh will consider taking “appropriate” time off from local government duties during the state election campaign if pre-selected as the Liberal Party’s Wendouree candidate.

Cr McIntosh said for now, however, she was just concentrating on the pre-selection process.

Cr McIntosh is competing with Ballarat businessman Craig Coltman for the nomination, with all of Ballarat’s Liberal Party members voting on their preferred candidate next month.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said there were guidelines if councillors became endorsed state or federal candidates, but standing down from their local government role was completely up to the individual.

The MAV’s Deb Smith said the guidelines were reviewed and updated before the 2010 state election.

She said they included endorsed candidates advising their council CEOs in writing as soon as possible, with all councillors then notified.

“They must also declare it at a meeting of the council so it is on the public record,” Ms Smith said.

She said the councillor must also not use any council resources during their campaign and clearly identify any conflicts of interest between their two roles.

“We do not officially recommend they stand aside but many do it so it doesn’t blur the line,” she said.

Former Ballarat City councillor Ben Taylor also continued in his role as a south ward councillor, but took a short leave of absence before the election, when he stood as the Liberal candidate in Ballarat East in 2010.

Mr Taylor was the only Liberal candidate for the new seat of Buninyong when nominations closed last Friday but he still has to be ratified.