Ballarat to get its third mayor in 12 months in September

Councillors John Philips, Samantha McIntosh, Glen Crompton, Peter Innes, Joshua Morris, Des Hudson, Amy Johnson and Belinda Coates. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Councillors John Philips, Samantha McIntosh, Glen Crompton, Peter Innes, Joshua Morris, Des Hudson, Amy Johnson and Belinda Coates. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

JOSHUA Morris will formally stand down as mayor of Ballarat next month.

Cr Morris announced his decision to resign as mayor, but continue as a councillor, to The Courier on Tuesday.

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His revelation follows a turbulent 24 hours within the council, after it was announced Cr Morris had been preselected as a Liberal candidate for Western Victoria.

The announcement means Cr Morris is almost a certainty to enter state politics, listed second on the ballot behind Ballarat politician Simon Ramsay.

A shift in mayoral leadership is expected to unfold during the week beginning September 8, with a vote on September 12.

Cr Morris said his decision move into state politics had been sparked by an unprecedented and "extraordinary" vacancy after the resignation of another candidate.

He said he remained committed to the community of Ballarat in his last weeks as mayor. 

"I've always been committed to the city of Ballarat and I certainty will continue with that commitment as I remain in the mayoral role," Cr Morris said.

"However I think it is important that we have a mayor who is going to be able to dedicate time to the role and I didn't feel that being both the candidate and the mayor was going to be the way to go, so I decided to step down."

Cr Morris said vowed to continue as councillor until closer to the state election when he would a take a leave of absence.

Cr Morris said if he was elected he would resign as councillor. 

So far, only Cr Peter Innes has confirmed he would put himself forward for the role of mayor, if he had the support of his fellow colleagues. 

City of Ballarat chief executive officer Anthony Schinck said nominations for the mayoralty would open on September 8 and close on September 10. 

He said a statutory meeting of councillors was scheduled for September 12.

Mr Schinck said the impending election would only be for the remaining portion of Cr Morris's term.

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