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Melbourne braces for a possible Kennett reviv -

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ELEANOR HALL: Is he yesterday's man or a man for the future?

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett is testing the waters to see whether locals will vote him
into office as the new mayor of Melbourne in the council elections in November.

The President of the Hawthorn Football Club and chairman of the mental health body Beyond Blue says
he would like to make a political contribution again, but not before the AFL grand final.

Mr Kennett says he will make a decision later this year, but have Melburnians already had enough of

Alison Caldwell hit the streets to find out.

ALISON CALDWELL: Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett is still very well known in Melbourne, now
as the President of the Hawthorn Football Club and as the chairman of Beyond Blue and as a regular
contributor to public debate.

For those who thought he was out of politics altogether, well, think again. Today he confirmed that
he's been approached to run for Lord Mayor of Melbourne in the November elections.

JEFF KENNETT: Yes I've had approaches from two citizens' groups, I've had approaches from some
commercial interests in the city as well as I've had some approaches from some of the councillors.

ALISON CALDWELL: Premier of Victoria for seven years, Jeff Kennett was booted out of office by
voters in 1999. Since then he's always kept his options open when it comes to running for public

In September 2003 Jeff Kennett said he wouldn't rule out a tilt at Canberra and the seat vacated by
former Senator Richard Alston. In the end it wasn't really an option.

Then in 2006 with the state Liberals languishing in opposition, he was approached to run for the
leader's job but after 48 hours revelling in speculation, he decided against it.

Once again, Jeff Kennett is keeping his options open.

JEFF KENNETT: I have a very full book which includes not only commercial but my work with Beyond
Blue, but importantly at this time leadership of the Hawthorn Football Club and I will make no
decision in terms of whether I stand or don't stand for the Lord Mayor of Melbourne until the end
of the football season which will be late September.

ALISON CALDWELL: Uncharacteristically modest, today he says he doubts his chances.

JEFF KENNETT: No idea at all. I probably wouldn't. Most of the public would probably say, we've had
a gutful of Kennett.

ALISON CALDWELL: Sally Capp is the CEO of the Committee for Melbourne. She says it's a great idea.

SALLY CAPP: I know that Jeff is passionate about our city. I know that he's somebody that's been
used to making big decisions in the past so I think he'd be a good Lord Mayor.

ALISON CALDWELL: But former lord mayor Kevin Chamberlain couldn't think of anything worse.

KEVIN CHAMBERLAIN: It's local government, not celebrity government. We want people from the local
business and residential community in inner Melbourne who could represent the views at council
level. We don't want celebrity candidates.

The irony with Jeff Kennett would be that he'd spend most of his time fixing up mistakes he put in
place in the first place when he was premier.

ALISON CALDWELL: But a stone's throw from the town hall in inner Melbourne, the reaction to the
idea of Kennett for mayor was mixed.

VOX POP 1: I would hate it. I'm not impressed with what he did while he was, you know, in charge so
I would hate it.

ALISON CALDWELL: Jeff Kennett for Lord Mayor?

VOX POP 2: Yes, by all means. I'm a great supporter.

VOX POP 3: If he wants to, great idea.

VOX POP 4: Jeff Kennett, good luck.

VOX POP 5: I'm from South Australia but it sounds a good idea to me because I think he did a great
job for Victoria when he was premier so, very go ahead, got some great ideas, I think he'd be very

ALISON CALDWELL: Jeff Kennett for Lord Mayor of Melbourne?

VOX POP 6: He'd be wonderful.


VOX POP 6: Well I think he's a very savvy person and I think it, yeah, he was always a good worker.

VOX POP 7: I think he would be great but I'd feel sorry for his wife because of the responsibility
and he's been there before and maybe it's their time now.

ELEANOR HALL: People on the streets of Melbourne speaking to Alison Caldwell.