Dracoulis: ‘I choose the Derwent Valley’

DERWENT Valley Council mayor Michelle Dracoulis has withdrawn as a candidate for the next state election, instead choosing to focus on her local role. Mrs Dracoulis was named as an Australian Labor Party candidate earlier this month but has decided not to contest the state poll.

Speaking from the chair at tonight’s Derwent Valley Council meeting, Mrs Dracoulis said she had reconsidered her position and found herself agreeing with comments that the municipality deserves a full-time mayor. “I choose here, I choose us,” Cr Dracoulis said to applause from sections of the public gallery.

Speaking to New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News, Mrs Dracoulis said she had sent her resignation to the Labor Party at the end of tonight’s council meeting. In a statement to the News, state Labor leader Rebecca White has acnowledged Mrs Dracoulis’ decision.

“While I’m disappointed Michelle Dracoulis has made this decision, I can understand her commitment to continue serving her community as mayor of the Derwent Valley Council,” Ms White said. “I wish Michelle all the best and will continue to work with her to deliver the best outcomes for the residents of the Derwent Valley.”

Michelle Dracoulis’ statement at the Derwent Valley Council meeting on December 14:

On the 1st of December, a few short hours after I had been told, the Labor Party announced that I had been endorsed as a candidate for the next state election. It is an honour to be chosen as a candidate, and I know there is a lot I can offer in this space. It’s a also great opportunity for me as a person.

In the days since the announcement, I have had many conversations, received many messages, and read the comments on our local community boards. I agree with the comments that the Derwent Valley deserves a mayor that will offer stability, and that we are going through a period of growth and change that requires full dedication from those that lead it.

I’ve had a lot to think about, and I have come to a conclusion. I choose here. I choose us. And I have drafted my resignation of candidacy, which I will send at the conclusion of this meeting.

Picture: Michelle Dracoulis after making her statement withdrawing as an ALP state election candidate.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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