Baw Baw councillors to choose mayor on Wednesday
 Baw Baw News   By // 20:10, Monday 13 November 2017

Councillors will pick Baw Baw Shire’s major and deputy mayor for the next year at a special meeting on Wednesday.

Image: incumbent mayor Joe Gauci considers challenging Milford Meanswell. Photo by author.


The mayor position in Baw Baw is not chosen by public vote, rather by a majority of councillors.

Mayors chair council meetings with a deciding vote in tied motions, and are expected to attend all municipal proceedings held in the region.

Incumbent Joe Gauci has held the position since November 2015, leading Baw Baw both before and after last year’s council elections.

Fellow Warragul ward councillor Mikalea Power is presently deputy mayor title, an optional position often used as a training ground for potential future leaders.


Of course, the deputy mayor plan doesn’t always work out: East Ward (then-Mount Worth Ward) councillor Peter Kostos was deputy when Cr Gauci took the mayor position in 2015 but never progressed to the top job. Likewise, councillor Tricia Jones and former councillor Tony Wolfe have held the position without becoming mayor in the following term.

How will the vote go down?

In the past, Baw Baw’s mayoral elections have been surprisingly boring. Prior to the vote councillors often say they have no idea who will take the position, but votes are usually uncontested and over in a matter of minutes.

A lot is discussed and decided behind the scenes in the interests of the council appearing united.

If Cr Gauci is elected mayor again, he will likely hold the position for the longest period this decade. While it’s not out of the question for Joe to achieve a third term, it is unlikely.

As deputy and one of the council’s longest serving representatives, Cr Power is the most likely to take the position. However, as a social progressive, she might face resistance from more conservative councillors.

Those wanting a leader from outside of Warragul might also oppose her.

But what about the deputy position? All we can say is it probably won’t be occupied by Joe.

More than just the mayor and deputy

Wednesday’s meeting, to be held at the Trafalgar chambers, will see more appointments than just mayor and deputy mayor.


Every year at mayoral election time, councillors are appointed as delegates to advisory committees in Baw Baw and beyond.

Each councillor is usually appointed to several committees, often related to their own interests and/or expertise.

Baw Baw’s advisory committees are community feedback groups largely made up of average citizens and business owners. They cover business, the arts, disability, the environment, roads and drainage, and more.

Councillors are also appointed as representatives to external bodies, including the Gippsland Local Government Network, the Municipal Association of Victoria, and West Gippsland Regional Library’s board.

Who’s your pick?

Who do you think will take the mayor and deputy mayor positions? Let us know in the comments below.

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5 responses to “Baw Baw councillors to choose mayor on Wednesday”

  1. Jack O Dwyer says:

    Danny Goss should be the mayor as he is a mover and shaker as is the current mayor.

  2. Annette Sutherland says:

    Ok understand that deputy role does not always translate to major role- Mikaela Power has been an advocate for All aspects of the major role for some time! I would love to see her have the respect of the Council to become the new Leader this week! Joe has done a great job so I know the culture of growing forward for the wealth of baw baw will mean a step aside for others to build their capacity in Baw Baw for the good of Baw Baw! And I’m a believer of the concept of building capacity! MP for Baw Baw!

  3. Bente Jobsz says:

    Seems we are still in the dark ages, the people should and must have a wrote!

  4. Lynn Wells says:

    The graphic has nothing to do with the Mayor or Baw Baw Shire. Why use it? Whether it’s a joke, or a cheap shot, it’s not appropriate.

  5. Will Kulich says:

    Hi Lynn,

    As stated in the caption, the photo is of the present mayor of the Baw Baw Shire Council.

    The image was shown to Joe at the time it was taken and received a laugh, so if your concern is he will take it badly I don’t think you need to worry.

    Will Kulich – Editor