Melbourne mayor nominee cut-off looms

By AAP Newswire

Less than a day remains until nominations close for Melbourne's Lord Mayor by-election and 11 hopefuls have put their hands up for the $193,000-a-year job.

It's been two months since former lord mayor Robert Doyle quit amid allegations of sexual harassment, sparking the May poll.

So far the race has inspired a colourful array of personalities, including millionaires, political party members, an artist, psychologist and broadcaster.

Businessman and pollster Gary Morgan says he put his hand up because the city deserves someone who lives and loves the city and is not aligned to a political party because they have to be able to work with higher government of all persuasions.

"You need trust in the leader and you can't trust any person who is in a political party," he told AAP.

He said there needed to be a focus on thriving business, education, tourism and entertainment in the city, while looking after residents and ratepayers.

Mr Doyle was the former state Liberal leader, while candidate and Property Council boss Sally Capp was once also a member of the party.

Other nominees Bruce Poon and Rohan Leppert are from the Animal Justice Party and Greens respectively.

Many of the candidates are running on platforms of reforming the council's culture after the fallout of Mr Doyle's scandal.

Former councillor Tessa Sullivan filed a complaint against Mr Doyle in December alleging repeated sexual harassment, prompting an independent inquiry.

In March, allegations by Ms Sullivan and councillor Cathy Oke were upheld by the council-commissioned investigation.

The report concluded that Mr Doyle grabbed Ms Sullivan's breast in May when the pair were in a chauffer-driven mayoral car.

It also found Mr Doyle put his hand on Ms Oke's thigh several times in 2014, and attempted to kiss her in his office following a meeting in late 2016 or early 2017.

All incidents happened after Mr Doyle had consumed "substantial amounts of red wine", but other allegations raised by Ms Sullivan were not substantiated.

Mr Doyle has always vehemently denied the accusations.

Nominations for lord mayor close at midday on Tuesday and ballot papers will be sent out from April 23.

Voting closes on May 11.


* Michael Burge

* Bruce Poon

* Rohan Leppert

* Luke Downing

* Jennifer Yang

* Nathalie Nicole O'Sughrue

* Sally Capp

* Sally Warhaft

* Ken Ong

* Katie Sfetkidis

* Gary Morgan

Source: Victorian Electoral Commission