Greek Community Hosts Melbourne Mayoral Candidates’ Debate

(Bill Papastergiadis (standing right) moderates the panel of candidates)

Bill Papastergiadis, president of the Melbourne Greek Community (MGC), on Tuesday moderated a panel with four of the top contenders to become Melbourne’s next Lord Mayor.

Candidates Sally Capp, Gary Morgan, Ken Ong and Jennifer Yang presented their views on the future of Melbourne and its development.

The event was held at the Greek Centre and in his introduction Papastergiadis highlighted the significant role the Greek community has played in the growth and culture of the city of Melbourne.

He also stressed the importance of the Lonsdale Street location as the place where generations of Greek Australians worked and prospered.

Each candidate expressed their vision of the city and the areas where they will put  emphasis on if elected. The focus was city development with each candidate presenting their views.

Sally Capp proposed transformational development of public spaces, and Gary Morgan said that the city should look at its history to inform his view of the future.

There were diverse opinions on the development of the Queen Victoria Market, with Morgan opposing the development. Ken Ong suggested an alternate design to avoid the current objections, and Capp wanted to manage the project more closely in consultation with traders to set it up for commercial success.

The four candidates also spoke about strategies to tackle homelessness, use of the city’s waterways, the Apple Store in Federation square, the impact Airbnb has on apartments, plus cycling and public transport links.

Both Jennifer Yang and Gary Morgan are focussed on changing the culture at Town Hall, with the latter pledging to “drain the Town Hall swamp”.

“There is no doubt that the outcome of this City of Melbourne By Election will impact development in a significant way” Papastergiadis said.

“It’s my view that this is crucial to get right — look at the Melbourne skyline today — where are the cranes?

“With population booming, we must be able to sensibly develop all underutilized parts of the City of Melbourne to full potential, and Town Hall plays a big part in the vision and implementation of this.”