News State Victoria News Businesswoman Sally Capp elected as Melbourne’s new mayor

Businesswoman Sally Capp elected as Melbourne’s new mayor

Prominent Melbourne businesswoman Sally Capp has every reason to smile after winning the mayoral race. Photo: ABC/Zalika Rizmal
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Property Council boss Sally Capp has been elected Melbourne’s new Lord Mayor, four months after Robert Doyle quit amid sexual harassment allegations.

The mother-of-two is the first woman to be Melbourne’s Lord Mayor in almost 30 years.

Ms Capp stood as an independent candidate and took leave without pay from her position as Victorian executive director of the Property Council of Australia to campaign.

She began her career as a solicitor and has held senior posts at KPMG and ANZ.

Her other past roles include CEO of the Committee for Melbourne, chief operating officer at the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Victorian agent-general across Europe and Israel and the first female board member of the Collingwood Football Club.

She is also involved in a number of charities and currently sits on the board of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship Foundation.

She is also a board member for the Melbourne University Faculty of Business and Economics.

Lord Mayor ‘for all of Melbourne’

After preferences, Ms Capp won 53 per cent of the vote ahead of Labor-backed candidate Jennifer Yang on nearly 47 per cent.

In a statement, Ms Capp said she was “humbled and grateful to have received the support of Melburnians, who have elected me as the next Lord Mayor of our wonderful city”.

“It’s a serious job which requires passion and commitment. I intend to use all my skill and experience to deliver for the city,” she said.

“I campaigned on a promise to be a Lord Mayor for all of Melbourne, not specific interest groups and I intend to keep that promise.”

Ms Capp paid tribute to the other candidates.

“I will start day one in the job without obligation to any political party or lobby group. My only obligation is to good outcomes for Melbourne and Melburnians.”

Ms Capp has previously said managing population growth, tackling homelessness and major infrastructure projects were the key challenges facing Melbourne.

Robert Doyle triggered the by-election when he resigned as lord mayor last week.
Robert Doyle triggered the by-election when he resigned as lord mayor amid a sex-harassment scandal. Photo: Getty

There were 14 candidates nominated for the by-election and just over 144,000 people were enrolled to vote, according to the Victorian Electoral Commission.

Mr Doyle quit as lord mayor and chairman of Melbourne Health earlier this year, in the wake of an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed Melbourne city councillor Cathy Oke and former councillor Tessa Sullivan.

In March, the Melbourne City Council investigation made four adverse findings against Mr Doyle but he has been deemed medically unfit to be interviewed for a separate investigation into allegations during his time at Melbourne Health.

Mr Doyle, who was hospitalised at the height of the scandal, has vigorously denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Capp will be sworn in at Melbourne Town Hall next Thursday.