Lalios makes council return

CITY of Whittlesea councillor Mary Lalios made her return to council at last Tuesday night’s (November 13) council meeting after not attending a meeting since April this year.

The return comes as prior requests to grant Cr Lalios a leave of absence have been denied and another absence would have seen her disqualified from her position as councillor.

An emergency meeting was called last week in a last-ditch effort to grant Cr Lalios leave before the decisive meeting but the matter was never heard after the councillors wishing to move the motion for leave failed to attend the meeting.

A previous attempt at granting Cr Lalios leave was unsuccessful in September after it was revealed she had made a WorkCover claim against council.

Once her attendance at the 6.30pm meeting was noted, Cr Lalios left the chambers with her belongings around 6.45pm and did not return.

Cr Lalios said she is working with council on a permanent return.

“I am working with council to gradually return to my councillor role, after an unplanned absence,” she said.

“I look forward to being able to continue to serve this wonderful community, as I have for the last 13 years and three times as Mayor.

“There’s lots to be done for this growing community and I will continue to be a strong advocate for residents and ratepayers.”

Meanwhile, apologies for Crs Emilia Sterjova and Tom Joseph were accepted and a leave of absence was approved for Cr Alahna Desiato while she contests the state seat of Thomastown in this Saturday’s election.