City of Boroondara

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City of Boroondara
Population 174,787[1]
Established 1994
Area 60km2[2]
Mayor Lisa Hollingsworth
Council seat Camberwell Town Hall, Camberwell
Website City of Boroondara

The City of Boroondara is a local government covering parts of the inner and middle-ring suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria.



In 1993, following a state government investigation into its finances and operations, all councillors of Camberwell City Council were sacked and replaced by an administrator, Des Bethke.

Following the electoral success of the Kennett Government in 1992, the process for reforming local government in Victoria began. The first stage began following the passing of the Local Government (General Amendment) Act 1993 which established the Local Government Board and gave the Minister for Local Government the power to abolish, amalgamate and otherwise change municipal administrative, electoral and governance structures.[3]


Boroondara was officially formed on 22 June 1994 from the re-joining the Cities of Camberwell, Kew and Hawthorn as part of the Kennett Government's local government reforms.

In November 1994, the Victorian Government sacked all 1,600 elected councillors in the state and replaced them with appointed commissioners. It was a controversial policy that led to a significant reduction in the number of local governments from 210 to 78.[4][5]

There followed a two year period of transition where three appointed commissioners administered the running of the council. These were:

  • David Glanville (chair)
  • David Thomas
  • Marion MacLeod

The commissioners also began an investigation into the proper electoral structure for the new municipality once council elections were to be held in 1996. They recommended a system with 10 councillors and 10 wards, which was approved by the State Government in October 1995.[6]


The first elections for the new council were held on 16 March 1996. The first official meeting of the new Boroondara Council was held on 25 March 1996, with Geoff Hayes elected as the first mayor.



The mayor of Boroondara is the political leader of the council. They chair council meetings, represent Boroondara externally and act as the council's spokesperson. Mayors are elected annually from amongst the sitting councillors.[7]

Deputy mayors

Due to reforms introduced by the Local Government Act 2020, all Victorian councils are now required to also elect a deputy mayor. The first deputy mayor for Boroondara, Cynthia Watson, was elected in 2020.[8]


Eleven councillors serve on Boroondara Council. Prior to the 2020 election and the introduction of Riversdale Ward, Boroondara was one of only two councils in the state to be composed of an even number of councillors - the only other being the neighbouring City of Whitehorse. Councillors are elected every four years to represent one of eleven wards across the city. They are responsible for the strategic direction of council, making decisions through the Urban Planning and Services Special Committees and representing the interests of the City.

Special committees

Special committees deal with specific issues delegated by the council. Boroondara has two special committees: the Urban Planning Special Committee (UPSC) and Services Special Committee (SSC). The former makes planning decisions and the latter deals with other matters related to the delivery of services by council. Both committees have full delegated authority and can make decisions on behalf of council. Some decisions are required to be approved at a full council meeting, but decisions are rarely overturned. All ten councillors are members of both special committees. UPSC meetings typically occur every fortnight and SSC meetings every month, but special meetings may be scheduled if deemed necessary.

Chairs of both special committees are determined on an annual basis at the same time as the mayoral election. They do not receive additional financial allowances.

Elections and voting

Elections for councils in Victoria are governed by the Local Government Act 2020, which stipulates that elections be held once every four years. Boroondara has held postal elections in previous elections, including at the most recent 2020 election.


Boroondara is subdivided into eleven single-member wards. Each ward's name is based on a local landmark, a place or historical background.[7] The eleventh ward, Riversdale, was added at the 2020 election.


  1. 'Australian Bureau of Statistics, Regional Population Growth, Australia (3218.0). Compiled and presented in by .id '; 30 June 2015; accessed: 20 June 2016
  2. .id; 2011; accessed: 20 June 2016
  3. Parliament of Victoria. Local Government (General Amendment) Act 1993. Austlii., accessed: 17 January 2019
  4. Millar, Royce & Dowling, Jason. Kennett's blitz a decade on. 25 April 2004. The Age: Melbourne., accessed: 5 July 2019
  5. Aulich, C; Gibbs, M; Gooding, A; McKinlay, P; Pillora, S; Sansom, G. Consolidation in Local Government: A Review - Volume 1. May 2011. University of Technology Sydney., accessed: 5 July 2019
  6. Boroondara City Council. Preliminary Submission to the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) Electoral Representation Review for Boroondara City Council. March 2019: Camberwell.
  7. 7.0 7.1 City of Boroondara. Councillors and wards. November 2016., accessed: 6 November 2016
  8. Local Government Victoria. Local Government Bil 2019. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Melbourne: 2020., accessed: 27 November 2020