Greens councillor wins Deputy Lord Mayor bid

Adelaide City councillor Keiran Snape has been elected Deputy Lord Mayor for 2024, after winning eight votes including that of Liberal-aligned Henry Davis.

Nov 29, 2023, updated Nov 30, 2023
Greens councillor Keiran Snape will be Adelaide City Council's Deputy Lord Mayor next year. File photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Greens councillor Keiran Snape will be Adelaide City Council's Deputy Lord Mayor next year. File photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Snape, a Greens member and city councillor since August 2021, defeated Central Ward councillor and Labor Party member David Elliott for the post.

South Ward councillor and Liberal Party member Henry Davis also nominated but did not receive any votes – including from himself.

The result means Snape will on January 1 replace incumbent Deputy Lord Mayor Phillip Martin, who was elected to the position unopposed at this council’s first meeting on November 29, 2022.

The Deputy Lord Mayor’s duties include representing the Lord Mayor, presiding over council meetings in their absence and being their spokesperson when they are unavailable to attend official appearances.

The position also brings with it a pay bump from $28,692 to $43,038 a year.

Snape said he ran for the position to “further improve the bridge between community and council”.

“As Deputy Lord Mayor, I will wholeheartedly support our Lord Mayor and the vision of council including climate adaptation, protecting our park lands and heritage buildings,” he said.

“It is a great honour and privilege to receive the support of my colleagues.”

Snape, a Wright Street resident and former hospitality worker, was first elected as an Area Councillor in a supplementary election in August 2021. He stood for South Ward last year and was elected with 758 first-preference votes.

According to his register of interests, he is a member of the South Australian Greens, the Adelaide Park Lands Association, Anti-Poverty Network of South Australia, Rainbow Advocacy Alliance and the City South Association.

Councillor Keiran Snape

Deputy Lord Mayor-elect Keiran Snape alongside current Deputy Lord Mayor Phillip Martin at a council meeting earlier this year.  Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

He has been an outspoken park lands advocate and prominent critic of the state government’s decision to house the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital on the Thebarton barracks site and the new Adelaide Aquatic Centre on its existing park lands spot in North Adelaide.

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Meanwhile, councillor Elliott, the chair of Bike Adelaide and council’s most vocal active transport advocate, said he nominated himself for Deputy Lord Mayor to bring a “lot of energy and drive to our agenda of better environmental and transport safety outcomes for the city”.

Elliott also said he was “concerned that Team Adelaide was organising to install Henry, who has consistently acted to bring council into disrepute”.

Asked why he did not support Snape’s election, Elliott said: “His values align in some areas to mine, but there are a lot of differences and some major differences in how we approach those issues.

Councillor David Elliott

Central Ward councillor David Elliott. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

“I’m not interested in making moral statements or symbolic votes; I want to find pragmatic and practical solutions, not hills to die on.”

The councillor vote was a blind ballot, meaning how each councillor voted was not disclosed.

But Davis, who is weighing up a Liberal pre-selection bid for the federal seat of Mayo, said he voted for Greens councillor Snape because “I know what he stands for”.

“I disagree with almost everything he says, however, he stands for something,” Davis said.

“I cannot say the same for Cr Elliott. I had heard there would be three candidates and the rumours were that there would be a three-way tie.

“I was concerned that Cr Elliott would pick up an extra vote and get a majority which I thought would be a bad outcome for council given his lack of experience.”

During the last term of council, all four Deputy Lord Mayors – councillors Houssam Abiad, Alexander Hyde, Mary Couros and Arman Abrahimzadeh – were from the once-dominant Team Adelaide faction. The first two Deputy Lord Mayors of this term have been self-described independents.

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