COUNCIL TILT: Stefano de Pieri.

A SERIES of compulsory and voluntary candidate sessions for Mildura Rural City Council hopefuls starts this month.

Council has engaged the Municipal Association of Victoria to provide a two-hour interactive online session on August 31 that will provide residents and prospective candidates with information about the role and purpose of local government.

Under the new Local Government Act, training is mandatory for all candidates, including current councillors intending to stand again.

And three virtual information sessions will be presented by council next month before nominations close on September 22.

The election countdown kicks off as Mildura Deputy Mayor Min Poole announced this week that she would retire from council at the election.

Mayor Simon Clemence, also stepping down at the election, said: “I was surprised with Min’s decision not to stand.

“I’m disappointed because Min is a very level headed and competent Councillor and is someone who would have worked hard for the community as she has done in the past.

“I am keen to see more female representation on Council, as well as more diversity, which reflects the community we live in today – I think you need that balance.”

Meanwhile, more hopefuls for the October postal ballot are emerging with celebrity cook and Mildura identity Stefano de Pieri last week announcing he would stand.

Mr de Pieri is no stranger to politics, having been involved in Government from 1985-1991 working in the offices of various Labor Party Ministers.

He also stood as an independent Upper House candidate for Northern Victoria Region at the state election in 2006.