Rohan Leppert Running To Be Melbourne’s First Openly Gay Lord Mayor


Rohan Leppert Lord Mayor
Rohan Leppert

Melbourne City councillor Rohan Leppert will contest the by-election for lord mayor in May.

Cr Leppert, 33, was elected to Melbourne City Council in 2012 and heads its arts, culture and heritage portfolio.

A by-election for lord mayor is being held after Robert Doyle resigned last month following accusations of sexual harassment made against him, which he denies.

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If elected, Cr Rohan Leppert would make history as the city’s first openly gay lord mayor.

He has been one of the highest-profile critics of the Andrews government’s plans to allow Apple to tear down a significant chunk of Federation Square and replace it with an Apple store.

Cr Leppert told The Age it was crucial developers in Melbourne were held to account, and with five and a half years’ experience on the council, he was well placed to do this if he was elected.

He said his priorities would include affordable housing in the inner city, supporting the city’s culture and vibrancy, and an open and “collegiate council with a reputation for good governance”.

State Greens MP for Melbourne, Ellen Sandell, said he would be excellent in the role, and that voters could “make history in Melbourne by electing our first openly gay lord mayor”.

Cr Rohan Leppert also has the support of former Labor lord mayor Lecki Ord.

“I think he’s excellently qualified for the job,” she said. “And (running for lord mayor) is a job application, not the Logies. We want someone who can do the job.”

Ms Ord said he would “hit the ground running, is across the issues, knows the background, and he knows how the council works”.

Cr Rohan Leppert is the fourth candidate to confirm he will run for lord mayor. Property Council chief Sally Capp, successful entrepreneur Ken Ong, and businessman and pollster Gary Morgan have also announced they will run in the by-election.