Wyndham councillor Intaj Khan will ask for a review of the Local Government Act after his hopes to stand for Melbourne’s lord mayor were quashed.
Cr Khan (pictured) announced his intention to run for Melbourne lord mayor last week but when nominations for the May by-election closed yesterday, he was not among the candidates.
Cr Khan said that in the end, he was unable to stand in the by-election because the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) failed to respond to his lawyers in time.
Cr Khan had asked the VEC to clarify whether a councillor in a municipality other than Melbourne could run for the lord mayor’s role.
The Local Government Act prohibits a sitting councillor elsewhere to nominate for the position.
It also does not allow for any one person to serve on two councils at the same time.
“We’ll be writing to the minister [for local government Marlene Kairouz] to ask for a review of the law and say that it needs to be clearer,” Cr Khan said.
“It is unfair. Why can other councillors not run, if Melbourne councillors can?”
Cr Khan said if the act was changed he would consider standing for the lord mayor’s position in the future.
If he had stood in the Melbourne by-election and won, Cr Khan said he would have resigned from the Wyndham council.
“I’m very much a fair person – I like to follow governance,” he said.
Cr Khan, who was re-elected to the Harrison ward in 2016, took a leave of absence from the council from April 4 to May 22. Yesterday he said he would consider whether to cut short his leave.
“It’s a pleasure to serve Wyndham city council ratepayers and businesses, I will continue to serve to the best of my ability,” he said.
Cr Khan still faces eight charges over allegations of not declaring commercial interests while serving as a Wyndham councillor between February 2016 and February 2017.
The case is due to be heard in Sunshine Magistrates’ Court in June.