By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Peter Brown is back on Greater Dandenong Council – and he is set to make an early mark.
“Apologies for being three years late but I’ve been held up in heavy political traffic,” Cr Brown told an audience when his countback election was announced at Dandenong Civic Centre on 11 November.
Cr Brown, a former mayor and 20-year councillor, signalled his first major move at that night’s council meeting.
He planned to supply the decisive vote in favour of a rescission motion scrapping Greater Dandenong’s approval of a waste-to-energy plant in Dandenong South.
“My reasoning is a planning application of such significance ought not be permitted by Council until an (Environment Protection Authority) assessment is done.
“I support waste-to-power conversion but it’s critical that an EPA assessment is done – and particularly the local businesses have an input on how they will be impacted by such a proposal.”
The council had been split 5-5 on the issue, with mayor Youhorn Chea deciding the matter in favour of the Great Southern Waste Technologies plant.
Cr Brown faces another big decision in helping to decide the next Greater Dandenong mayor.
A field of up to six councillors is jockeying for the role at an election on 14 November.
Cr Brown has replaced the long-serving Roz Blades, who suddenly resigned as mayor and councillor last month.
In the countback, Cr Brown secured 69 per cent of Ms Blades’ redistributed preferences from the 2016 election.
It is the second vacancy in Paperbark Ward this term.
In January, Cr Sophie Tan was installed after Meng Heang Tak resigned to take up his posting as a State MP.