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Local Government

WHO DARES WINS: Diana Asmar elected as mayor of Darebin


The City of Darebin based on Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs was long considered the bastion of former Preston MP and Labor Unity stalwart Michael Leighton, a low-profile yet formidable political operator.

This year’s election saw a significant change with the retirement and promotion of several of the torch-bearers of the Leighton machine, including Marlene Kairouz who became the MLA for Kororoit after a bruising preselection fight.

At the recent poll, the Labor Unity stronghold saw the election of the first Greens councillor ever and the restoration of two folks normally seen as Socialist Left aligned.

Their success was variously described as either a surprise or the inevitable consequence of the foolish Local Government Minister Richard Wynne’s establishment of Senate style voting systems in local municipality that encourage the election of Greens party activists and reduce the accountability inherent in single-member wards.

The most notable result of all though was the triumphant re-election of Councillor Diana Asmar, who works at the Transport Workers Union. Asmar worked in close conjunction with her friend Steve Tsitas who was elected in the same ward, in the southern end of the municipality. That’s also where the Greenist Trent McCarthy popped up, courtesy of their friend the Minister for Local Government.

To the north, in Cazaly Ward, the Asmar aligned patriot and educator Nick Katsis was elected after a very strong campaign, with other Labor Unity aligned folk, the HSU’s Ben Morgan and Vince Fontana. Interestingly, Fontana was once aligned with the Leighton/Robin Scott machine but is believed to have had something of a falling out of late.

And in LaTrobe Ward, the Left did surprisingly well with the crafty communications strategist Tim Laurence running a tough campaign that ruthlessly sledged incumbent Stanley Chiang. The Leighton/Robin Scott aligned Chiang fought back capably, with a mighty army of volunteers and did well to be re-elected. Laurence did so well in his cunning campaign plans – that included pledges of rates and waste cuts of the Reagan School – that he also got his sidekick, the quirky beret wearer Gaetano Greco elected. Not a bad effort. Indeed in Greco’s case, it was the fourth time he’d sought a council position, proving what we already should know about the power of persistence.

Perhaps most pleasantly of all, they all looked around last night and agreed unanimously that Diana Asmar would make the best choice as the mayor for the coming year. We concur.


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  1. Almost as good as former Mayor Marlene- now the revered Member for Kororoit.

    Posted by hazza | December 11, 2008, 18:37
  2. Diana is, was and always will be a dud. Her husband pulls the strings and Diana dances. She has limited communication skills, virtually no intellect, but does the best conjob in town. She is living proof that the campaign is king, not the candidate.

    Posted by darebin watcher | December 11, 2008, 18:43
  3. Diana Asmar is a good choice of Mayor. The system of multi member wards worked well. Patriots still control the Darebin council. That two candidates from the Socialist Left and one candidate from the Greens was elected is good for Darebin. The Labor Unity majority will have some opposition. Remember the Darebin Council, elected from single member wards, was sacked in 1998, mainly because they were all ALP and all were fighting each other. Had One Nation sympathiser Royce Keirl Jnr been elected in 1996 it would have been the Labor councillors fighting him rather than fighting each other. The Leighton Scott machine is still active in Darebin and still controls the purse strings, only it does not now have a majority on the Darebin Council and that’s a good thing.

    Posted by Anonymous | December 11, 2008, 18:44
  4. The Darebin Council election results were a great victory for Fiona Richardson, proving what a superb organiser she is. Well done Fiona.

    Posted by Anonymous | December 11, 2008, 19:18
  5. Good to see you’re back Lyle, but you’ve got it wrong. Diana a good choice for mayor? Any one of the muppets would be better and would be able to deliver a speech. Good photo of her though-marvellous what a nose job can do.

    Posted by looking for lyle | December 11, 2008, 19:37
  6. Morgan s victory was against all odds. The Asmar and Left were preferencing against him in a dirty deal.You call Asmar a Patriot but how about these sleazy deals arranged by her husband/cousin Dahir (David)? And how about the Govan(Best friend of Diana) debarcle that almost got this communist turkey basted single mother elected? Govans preferencesalmost got the extreme Greenist elected.It is a a true victory for freedom that Morgan came back against these odds.

    Posted by Darebin Patriot | December 11, 2008, 20:31
  7. Ben you just be careful Gaetano does’nt start giving you a leg rub at meetings

    Posted by Leagal eagle | December 11, 2008, 21:39
  8. But the TWU sacked her on Monday

    Posted by world war eleven | December 11, 2008, 21:45
  9. There is nothing pleasant about what happened in Darebin. The Asmars will reap what they have sown. Sorrow, dissention and bitterness. May they drink long from the cup of misery. What goes around comes around and in their case it can’t come quick enough!

    Posted by anon | December 12, 2008, 15:17
  10. Almost as Good as Natalie Suleyman, apparently facing corruption charges .

    Posted by mm | December 12, 2008, 18:19
  11. Cozzie old mate – hurry up and resign.


    Posted by J Rat | December 14, 2008, 11:27
  12. Congratulations to Cr Michael Freshwater on both his election to the Council of East Gippsland and also on his election as Deputy Mayor.

    Cr Freshwater has previously been a One Nation candidate for the Victorian Parliament. His successful campaign was supported according to correspondents to this blog by Socialist Left EPA Stasi Minister Gavin Jennings and by Socialist Left Ministerial aspirant Jenny Mikakos.

    Comments critical of the EPA Stasi Minister were censured on Poll Bludger after intervention by Gavin Jennings Ministerial Staffers.

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