Councillor Lara Carli is the new mayor of Melton, after holding off a strong challenge from incumbent Bob Turner at last week’s mayoral election.

Cr Carli, who has served as deputy mayor for the past 12 months, will hold the role for the final year of this council ahead of next year’s council election.

Three candidates were nominated for mayor: Cr Carli, Cr Goran Kesic, and departing mayor Cr Bob Turner. Cr Kesic was eliminated from contention after the first round of voting, with Cr Carli eventually prevailing over her predecessor by five votes to four.

With her family in the gallery, Cr Carli said she was honoured to be elected to lead the council for the next year.

“It is indeed an honour to be elected as mayor of our wonderful and vibrant city for the next 12 months,” Cr Carli said.

“I thank my fellow councillors for placing their trust in me, and I look forward to serving my mayoral term with a high standard of integrity, transparency, and accountability, and to ensure we act responsibly in meeting the needs of our community.

“These are exciting and challenging times for us in the City of Melton, and I am grateful to have the privilege to lead this strong and committed team moving forward.

“We as a community face many challenges. An ever increasing influx of families into our municipality demands on us to deliver appropriate services and infrastructure, so it is therefore incumbent on all of us to promote our fabulous city and ensure that we as a community receive our fair share of funding from both state and federal governments.

“I look forward to the challenges ahead and getting on with the job.”

Voting for deputy mayor was equally tight, with Cr Steve Abboushi and Cr Michelle Mendes both nominated for the position, with Cr Abboushi winning by a single vote.

Cr Abboushi thanked his fellow councillors, council officers, and his family for their support as he accepted the position.