Saturday, April 13, 2024

Melbourne Lord Mayor to step down

City of Melbourne Council Mayor, Sally Capp, has announced she is stepping down from the top job.

Mayor Capp was first elected Mayor 2018, before winning re-election in 2020.

“It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing I will not be contesting the next local government election,” the Lord Mayor said in a statement today.

“I love this job – it is an honour and privilege to represent the people of Melbourne.”

“I have given everything to this role. As you know, I like to work at full pace, full-time – and I believe that anyone contesting the election must be all-in for a full term.   

“I have decided that at 56, having spent my 50s so far at Town Hall, it’s time for me to seek new opportunities to propel me into my next decade.”

The Lord Mayor said the city was “in dire need of leadership” when she was first elected six years ago.

“There were significant internal and external issues – including a culture of unacceptable councillor behaviour and delays on major projects, such as the renewal of Queen Victoria Market,” she said.

“We faced acts of terrorism in the city, followed by the profound challenges of the global pandemic and long lockdowns.

“Despite this, together we have driven the revitalisation of this magnificent city – emerging as Australia’s largest city, the world’s third most liveable, and the fourth best student city globally.

“We have seen record breaking crowds at every major event recently, driving up foot traffic and boosting business across the city.

“I know hardship is still a reality for many business owners and residents, but the upward trajectory is undeniable. We are once again the driver of Victoria’s economy and a major contributor on the national stage.”

She said she was proud of the Council’s achievements during her time as Lord Mayor.

“I want to acknowledge the City of Melbourne team and Melbourne’s residents, traders and stakeholders across industries that are so critical to this city. Your passion has been evident to me every day and has shaped a council program focused on what our city needs and how we can make a positive difference together.”

“We have tripled our investment in city cleaning, delivered the largest events program in the country, and invested more in city-shaping infrastructure projects than at any other time in Council’s history. 

Lord Mayor Capp said the highlights of her leadership included: 

  • Renewing the Queen Victoria Market precinct, with the next major stage underway including a new green open space;
  • Greenline Project progressing from an idea to an award-winning project to rejuvenate the northbank of the Yarra River – Birrarung;
  • Make Room, a landmark development that sets a new standard for transitional supported accommodation for people experiencing homelessness;
  • The incredible new Kensington Community Aquatic and Recreation Centre, a state-of-the-art facility for our community;
  • Our ambitious Power Melbourne battery scheme, which will deliver more affordable renewable energy for residents and businesses. 

The Lord Mayor said there was still “plenty to do” before she departs, including delivering the final Annual Plan and Budget of this Council term.  

“To ensure good governance and transparency, I will work with Councillors and the CEO on an orderly transition plan, and I expect to finish as Lord Mayor at the end of June,” she said.

“Thank you, Melbourne, for the opportunity. Thank you to my wonderful husband Andrew, my family, and friends for all your support. I will continue to give the job my full commitment right up until my last minute at Town Hall.”

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