PETER Cole's shock nomination for Scott Ward in the Knox Council elections has infuriated the sitting councillor and led to accusations about who was behind the last-minute move.
Cr Cole is the councillor for Baird Ward — which takes in Boronia — but decided to take on current Scott Ward councillor David Cooper in a three-way race for the seat with Dwayne Lawless. When the Weekly asked Cr Cole why he switched seats he answered "why not?".
Cr Cooper said he believed Cr Cole had no intention of running in Baird Ward again, despite saying he would until just before nominations closed. He believes that mayor Adam Gill influenced Cr Cole's decision to run in Scott but Cr Cole said that was "absolutely not" true.
Cr Gill, who will be re-elected unopposed in Dinsdale Ward in the October 27 elections, did not want to comment on any election issues.
Cr Cole never lived in Baird Ward during his time as councillor — he lives in Ferntree Gully — and does not live in Scott Ward either.
He is one of a handful of Knox Council candidates who do not live in the ward for which they have nominated. There have also been questions raised over the address of Friberg candidate Tony Holland.
This is the third time Mr Holland has nominated for the seat. He lost in 2005 and 2008 after preferences were distributed, despite collecting the biggest primary vote at each election.
The Weekly sent a survey to all prospective council candidates asking for basic details and their views on particular issues in Knox. Mr Holland listed his residence as on the border of Rowville and Lysterfield, but sources say he lives in Upwey with his partner.
Mr Holland said while he "spends a lot of time in Upwey", he still lives in Knox. His address is suppressed by the Victorian Electoral Commission because he is registered as a silent voter (a person who believes that having their address on the electoral roll would put them or their family's safety at risk).
Cr Cooper claimed Mr Holland and Cr Gill had been working "very hard" for 10 years to get control of the council. Several sources said the pair — who are real estate agents outside of Knox — were "best mates" and Mr Holland confirmed they had known each other for 15 years.
Cr Cooper claims Cr Gill had put candidates up against him in the past three elections because "he sees me as a hindrance".
"I stand up to him so he doesn't always get what he wants."
Mr Holland denied he and Cr Gill worked together. "We are on very opposite sides of the political sphere — I am a member of the Liberal Party."
He said the pair had different views on lots of things and he would vote on each issue based on its merit.
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COUNCIL ELECTION COMMENTS
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