Who will be mayor? Four councillors put up their hand

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

THE race to become Ballarat’s next mayor is under way, with four councillors already confirming they will battle it out for the top job.

Cr John Philips revealed on Friday he will be contesting the mayorship, with councillors Peter Innes, Amy Johnson and Des Hudson also confirmed.

Cr Philips said he felt compelled to nominate for the position because he wanted to lead the council to resolve long standing issues in the city, including plans for proposed new Ballarat saleyards at Miners Rest.

Councillor John Philips. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

Councillor John Philips. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

“There are various issues that are of great importance in the city that I think need resolving,” Cr Philips said.

“Getting works under way for major infrastructure in Ballarat’s west growth region, resolving issues around the sale yards and ensuring we have a better road network for the city as we grow and require more movement are my top priorities.”

This year marks Cr Philips seventh year on council. Mayor Joshua Morris revealed on Tuesday he will step down from the position after he was preselected as a Liberal candidate for Western Victoria.

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

Councillor Peter Innes. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Councillor Peter Innes. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Cr Morris's resignation cemented the election of Ballarat’s third mayor in a year.

Cr Innes said if elected mayor, his main priority would be unifying the council.

“My priority would be ensuring we are all working as a team,” Cr Innes said.

“We are all elected to do the best we can for our community, my priority will be directing the team back to acting as team to work with staff at all levels.

“It will also be about looking at the positive aspect of every councillor as a way to mould the council into a high functioning team.

“Once you get that right, the rest will flow.”

Councillor Des Hudson. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Councillor Des Hudson. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Cr Hudson said if he was elected, his focus would be on increasing community consultation for projects.

He said he also wanted to establish Ballarat as an attractive city for employment and business opportunities.

Cr Johnson said her role the past two years as a councillor had prepared her for the next step to be mayor.

“I’ve worked really hard over the last two years as a councillor to be a passionate advocate for the community,” Cr Johnson said.

Councillor Amy Johnson. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Councillor Amy Johnson. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

“I bring passion, energy and drive to my role. My experience so far has given me an excellent understanding of role and responsibility of the council.”

Cr Johnson said her objective if elected as mayor would be to ensure the city’s four-year plan was implemented.

melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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