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November 30, 2022

Phillip Martin elected unopposed as Deputy Lord Mayor

Controversial incumbent North Ward councillor Phillip Martin has secured the position as the second most senior member in the Adelaide City Council chamber.

  • Main image: Phillip Martin in Adelaide Town Hall last night
  • Pictures: Tony Lewis

At last night’s first official council meeting for the newly installed Adelaide City Council, Philip Martin – one of three combative councillors identified as causing problems in the council’s toxic culture report – was elected unopposed and unanimously as the new Deputy Lord Mayor.

People can have confidence in the nature of the new council.
—Phillip Martin

The Deputy Lord Mayor assists the council and Lord Mayor, with duties spanning representing the Lord Mayor and being their spokesperson when they are unavailable to attend official appearances, presiding at meetings in the absence of the Lord Mayor, and discussing the progress of council decisions with the CEO when the Lord Mayor is unavailable.

The Deputy Lord Mayor is remunerated at $43,038 per annum for the one-year term – 1.5 times the annual allowance ($28,692) of an Adelaide City Council elected member.

In a sign of the change ushered in by the council elections, the last four Deputy Lord Mayors were held by Team Adelaide members: councillor Houssam Abiad, councillor Alexander Hyde, councillor Mary Couros and councillor Arman Abrahimzadeh.

Last night, south ward councillor Henry Davis nominated Martin for the position, which was supported unanimously with 10 votes. (Abrahimzadeh did not cast his vote as he was absent from the meeting.)

Martin told CityMag he was “flattered” and “delighted” to have the support of the chamber.

“I must say I’m heartened by the way in which this council seems to be able to work together,” he said.

“You can feel a more collaborative approach.

“People are expressing goodwill in all that they do, and I think people can have confidence in the nature of the new council.”

Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith


Lomax-Smith continued the theme, saying she was “particularly keen” to return to two council meetings and two committee meetings per month.

The committee meetings would be overseen by three to four councillors “appointed as chairs”, she said, because she wanted governing experience to be shared between members.

“My intention is to ensure that every member of council has the role as a chair of a significant committee or representative or being nominated into a role in an external body,” she said.


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“Everybody on council should have some recognition and experience, and I was concerned that sometimes there were members of council who were not given the opportunity to share the duties.

“I think it’s good for us all to bear these responsibilities.”

Lomax-Smith said she was cancelling this year’s Adelaide City Council Christmas lunch and reception so elected members could concentrate their efforts on “coming to grips” with issues immediately facing the city.

This included responding to internal deadlines such as strategic and financial budgets, as well as formulating a formal reply to the State Government’s Planning System Implementation Review.

The review, overseen by a four-person expert panel, aims to examine the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act and Planning and Design Code, and is seeking general and council feedback.

In this week’s meeting agenda, councillors were also given a data breakdown of the 2022 Adelaide City Council elections.

Results showed only 28.38 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots for Lord Mayor.

Just over a quarter (28.24 per cent) voted for area councillors, just over a third (34.68 per cent) voted for north ward councillors, another third (30.47 per cent) voted for south ward councillors, and less than a quarter (24.32 per cent) voted for central ward councillors.

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