Mernda campaigner Tom Joseph has been announced as Whittlesea’s newest councillor.
Mr Joseph was elected to represent the north ward on Wednesday following a countback to fill the vacancy that occurred after Cr John Butler died last month.
The countback, which was run by the Victorian Electoral Commission, redistributed votes for Cr Butler from last October’s election to the unsuccessful candidates according to voter preferences.
Mr Joseph was declared elected after receiving more than 50 per cent of the redistributed preferences and will be sworn in next Tuesday (October 10).
The councillor-elect said that while he was elected under “very sad” circumstances, he was excited to be joining the council.
A former Mernda and District Residents Association president, and avid campaigner for the E6 to be built as a freeway instead of an arterial road, Mr Joseph said he would stand up for Whittlesea’s growing suburbs.
“For me, being a councillor is a means to an end,” he said. “I want to bring in the facilities and infrastructure that my suburb and surrounding suburbs need. I want to give residents what they need.
“I have always had the position that the growth areas are being completely neglected.”
Mr Joseph said one of his first priorities would be lobbying for his fellow councillors to support the E6 freeway.
“Getting the council to change its policy was an election platform of mine,” he said. “The policy needs to change.
“I am glad council is committing to doing community consultation, but I don’t see it as necessary. It is a waste of time and money.”