Quirky rich bloke Gary Morgan excelled himself in an online Lord Mayor’s candidate forum on the Herald Sun website today.
In stark contrast to many other weak candidates, he answered all manner of intrusive and aggressive questions and handled all exceptionally well.
Morgan slammed-dunked the most-hated Mayoral candidate Catherine Ng condemning her failure to do the basics like attend council meetings:
Q: What do you say about Councillors who don’t show up to council meetings like Catherine Ng? How will you raise the standard of our representation?
A: It’s outrageous Cr Ng didn’t attend the meetings. Particularly, as she was chairwoman of the building and town planning committee. I will request that all councillors attend, unless they have a genuine excuse – Robert Doyle hasn’t attended many of the residential meetings over the two weeks.Â Â
He also slammed Catherine Ng’s knuckle-headed plan to send cardigan wearing City Ambassadors into the mean streets of Melbourne late at night to tackle hoons and criminals.
He didn’t have kind words for the incumbent Lord Mayor John So either, rating his performance out of ten as zero. He claimed that the LM, the hated Catherine Ng, headliner Gary Singer, Carl Jetter and militant right-wing Pastor David Wilson voted as a block.
MORGAN GETS TOUGH
He listed mistakes that group had made, in sequence, in a damning critique:
He wasted money on overseas activitiesÂ as well as promoting himself, rather than Melbourne. He was not critical of the Howard government over their Sydney-biased airline policy. He voted against reviewing and reforming the Melbourne electoral system. Today about 14,000 are being offered a vote without their signed consent as required in the act. It goes on and on – it’s hard to believe no one cares. I
He also damned Robert Doyle for “coasting” in the election and said the media were to blame:
You’re correct. Blame the media. They have done a poor job in bringing the issues to the attention of the voters.
Controversially, the Lord Mayoral aspirant proposed that cars would be banned from the MCG in Yarra Park (where most of them park), insisting that underground carparking should be built.
He condemned council waste, saying the council ought to scrap its international affairs department.
WILL SHUT 24 HOUR TOILET
Morgan pledged to close the 24 hour toilets in the Melbourne Town Hall responding to concerns that there are “wanton acts of sodomy(!), ice-taking and debauchery going on in the Town Hall’s 24 hour toilets? Will you shut them down to keep the pervs out of the City?”
He said “If that’s the case, absolutely. I made the council get rid of the ‘meeting places’ in the Fitzroy Gardens.”
Without question, Morgan’s quirkiest response was his agreement with the bizarre assertion that “helicopters are an important part of an alternative to cars.” He was asked “Would you support the development of more helipads and helitaxis to ease the burden on our streets?”
An exciting albeit rather expensive strategy some might think. Morgan had no doubts though, saying “No doubt, this will be the case.”
Morgan also committed in his tour de force online interview that he would be tough on dog poo and the causes of dog poo. “They should be prosecuted,” he declared.
All in all, a very impressive display by a candidate who has polled very strongly in the past.Â He’s not been expected to poll as well in this election but his wise choice of council running mate Liberal wet Peter Clarke has ensured that his election material looked particularly well informed on local issues. While Morgan himself is probably not particularly across the minutiae of the council affairs, Clarke certainly appears to be, being one of the stronger performer at the Town Hall.
Clarke seems almost certain to be re-elected and if that’s all Morgan achieves he’d be doing well. But Morgan proved today in his compelling take-on-all-comers online chat that he’s a strong conservative candidate, more up front about his views than the sneaky Ng and more informed/active than the disconnected Doyle. He doesn’t have the breadth of experience and political balance of the McMullin-Wilson team but he’s certainly a proven leader who will be strongly considered by many conservative voters.