It was Ballarat’s worst-kept political secret: City of Ballarat councillor Amy Johnson has been endorsed by the Liberal Party as their candidate for Wendouree.
A North Ward councillor for more than five years, Cr Johnson told The Courier she will take a leave of absence from her position as a councillor about a month out from the Victorian election on November 24.
Until October, she said she would continue with her council duties and follow Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) guidelines.
It follows a spat involving Roads and Roads Safety Minister Luke Donnellan, who criticised Cr Johnson following her vocal opposition to VicRoads projects involving Sturt and Mair Streets.
He told The Courier in March that Cr Johnson was "more interested in building her own political career than building things for Ballarat".
I’m proud to announce that I’m the endorsed Liberal Candidate for Wendouree.— Councillor Amy Johnson (@01AmyJohnson) April 11, 2018
Ballarat has been neglected under Labor with crime & cost of living increasing significantly under their watch.
It’s time for a @MatthewGuyMP lead Liberal Govt for Victoria. #SpringSt
Cr Johnson said she was excited at the opportunity, as Ballarat had been “taken for granted” and was facing a law and order crisis.
“Crime is a really big issue in Ballarat, the community are fed up, we need only look at [Tuesday’s] two home invasions to see why people don’t feel safe in their own homes.”
The MAV guidelines suggest councillors who nominate for elections should apply for a leave of absence no later than the date of their nomination as a candidate with the relevant electoral commission.
The Victorian Electoral Commission will accept official candidate nominations from 31 October. Councillors are not legally compelled to follow the MAV guidelines.
No Liberal candidate has been endorsed by the Liberal Party for seat of Buninyong, and The Courier understands this announcement will not be made until late April.