Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Stonnington seeks to withhold election results data, bringing the Council into disrepute.

Stonnington seeks to withhold election results data.

A similar exercise carried out by FOI Solutions Nick Bastosm cost the City of Melbourne over $60,000 back in 2000. It would have cost them $1.50.

All other jurisdictions provide access to this information., Sate Federal and Local Councils. The requirement relied on by Mr Bastkos and the City of Stonnington to keep the ballot papers sfae and secure referes to the location of storage not the information itself. Mr Baskos is looking at securing a send slice of the FOI pie with ratepayers picking up the bill

VACT ruling 2000

van der craats v Melbourne CC [2000] VCAT 447 (29 January 2000)

Herald Sun Article. 6 May 2015

Stonnington Council heading to VCAT over election countback that saw Tini Athanasopoulos elected

Tini Athanasopoulos’s election to Stonnington Council on countback is being challenged by
Tini Athanasopoulos’s election to Stonnington Council on countback is being challenged by a South Yarra man.
THE countback that saw Tini Athanasopoulos elected to Prahran Greens MP Sam Hibbins’ spot on Stonnington Council has sparked a freedom of information war.
South Yarra resident and electoral reform activist Anthony van der Craats is fighting the council’s refusal to release the preference data used to elect Cr Athanasopoulos to South Ward.
Accusing the council of “an abuse of process”, Mr van der Craats argued the information should be made public “in the interests of openness and transparency of local government”.
The alternative, he said, was “like going to the supermarket and buying a trolley of goods and not knowing if the bill at the end is correct”.
Mr van der Craats won a similar FOI case against Melbourne City Council in 2000, when the tribunal’s then deputy president Michael Macnamara ordered the council to release a data file of all ballots recorded in its 1999 election.
Mr Macnamara rejected the council’s argument that the information sought was exempt under the FOI Act.
Stonnington councillors are elected via proportional representation. When one resigns — such as Mr Hibbins following November’s state election — residents don’t vote again, with the departing councillor’s preferences instead distributed among the other candidates from the previous election, which was in 2012.
Stonnington Council announced Cr Athanasopoulos’s election on February 2, after the countback was held on January 30.
Mr van der Craats called for a review of the counting system used in local council elections, which he dubbed “flawed and outdated”.
“It (the countback system) isn’t proportional and it excludes a large number of voters, so the results don’t reflect voter sentiment,” Mr van der Craats said.
He argued that “anomalies particularly show up under the recount system”, saying every vote cast should be looked at instead of just redistributing preferences attached to votes for Mr Hibbins.
Stonnington Council chief executive Warren Roberts said the council was legislatively required to keep electoral records, including preference data, in “safe and secret storage” for four years.
“Accordingly, the City of Stonnington is following those regulations,” Mr Roberts said.
Mr van der Craats will dispute this reading of the local government regulations at VCAT.
The matter is listed for a directions hearing at the tribunal on May 18.

Clown Hall HYPNOSIS 1.5 Million Dollars RIP-OFF

Chairman of Finance, Cr Stephen Mayne, when asked "who was responsible for approving the expenditure of $1.5 Milllion and what steps had been taken to prevent such abuse in the future" remained stunned and silent at last nights Council's Future Melbourne Committee meeting held on Tuesday, leaving Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, to speak on his behalf.

The name Clown Hall being aptly used to describe the City Council.  The Council lives in fairy land. We would be  better off with Commissioners than this circus  of clowns whose only role is self adulation for stupidity, complacency, dinner parties and junkets. How many homeless could have been given shelter for this sum of money?

Hipsters hypnotised for $1.5m Melbourne Council advertising videos

HYPNOTISING hipsters has cost the City of Melbourne $1.5 million.

The Town Hall has again come under fire over its spending, this time on a video marketing campaign called the Land of Inbetween.

Costing $3500 every second, the videos show young urban professionals being hypnotised so they can rediscover Melbourne.

Hypnotist Andrew Newton was flown in from ­Europe to guest star at a ­believed cost of $20,000. The rest of the money was spent on production and advertising.
It comes just weeks after the council was slammed for granting $20,000 on a choreographer to teach parking ­inspectors to dance.

The issue is likely to prompt further debate over excessive council spending, which Premier Daniel Andrews and Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins warned against.

Melbourne City Council defended the project, saying it was within its $2.3 million ­marketing budget.
But the Herald Sun understands Lord Mayor Robert Doyle hated the initial pitch — along with many others — and the campaign had to be sent back to advertising agency DDB.

The million-dollar project was then almost canned before being re-edited and ­released online.
City of Melbourne spokesman James Talia said it was not unusual for a marketing campaign of this nature to be “tested and tweaked”.

Last night, the main video had just two likes and 837 views on the council’s official YouTube page.
The City of Melbourne said it had reached 54,000 people since launching.
Within council, the finished campaign is still divisive.

Councillor Richard Foster said it was hard to see where the value was for Melbourne, attracting one type of visitor who already lived here.

“Hypnotising hipsters may seem like an amusing thing to do, but it’s not when ratepayers’ money is used to pay for the experience. I really don’t think we need hypnosis, acupuncture or ozone therapy to attract people to Melbourne,” Cr Foster said.

In the council’s 900-word response, Mr Talia said: “Our marketing campaigns work.
“... We have a responsibility to our traders to do what we can to bring people into the city, especially in the colder months when there is usually a drop in traffic,” Mr Talia said.
Victorian branch chair of the Australian Society of Hypnosis, Dr Di McGreal, described the video as nonsensical, bizarre and wasteful.

“A city that can win the most livable city in the world shouldn’t have to hypnotise people to like it,” she said.