FOLLOWING the Wentworth Shire Council election in December, the successful candidates were officially sworn into their roles as Councillors on Monday this week.
The swearing in ceremony was followed by the election of a new Mayor and Deputy.
Councillor Tim Elstone was elected Mayor and Councillor Daniel Linker as the Deputy Mayor.
Councillor Elstone had served as Deputy Mayor since 2016 under the Mayorship of first Melisa Hederics and then Susan Nichols.
Councillor Elstone stood against fellow continuing Councillor Greg Evans for the Mayoral role, with Councillor Evans and former Mayor Susan Nichols the other nominations for Deputy Mayor.
“I look forward to this upcoming term as Mayor,” Councillor Elstone said.
“I am pleased with Daniel’s election as my Deputy he was the community’s choice at the election and I am sure we will work well together.
“With some new faces on Council as well as some more experienced heads it’s now time to get to business as we look to the future.
“We have a lot on the agenda from infrastructure in Gol Gol to Buronga and right through the Shire, particularly with the rural water and we have a caravan park and Civic Centre development and a new hospital in the wings as well as the sealing of Pooncarie Road.
“There are a lot of great projects in the works around Wentworth Shire and I can’t wait to see progress on those in the coming months as well as new projects and initiatives we will endorse as a Council.”
Councillor Linklater said it was an honour to have been elected to Council and as Deputy Mayor and he wants to deliver for the people in the Shire.
“Like all of my colleagues we are focussed on this being a term of delivery,” he said
“I think that will build on the really good work put in by the previous councils and so I am excited to get to work. There is a lot to be done and lots to learn and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.”
The new Wentworth Shire Council will consist of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor as well as Councillors Susan Nichols, Greg Evans, Steve Heywood, Peter Crisp, Jo Rodda, Brian Beaumont and Steve Cooper.
Former Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said he also hopes to make a constructive contribution to the Council.
“I think there are some marvellous opportunities for the Wentworth Shire and I wanted to offer my skills and experience to grasp and deliver those opportunities,” he said.
“My experience in being a part of State Government and working with the Federal Government, is something that I hope to bring to the table for the community of Wentworth’s advantage.
“This will be about outcomes in this term. There are some exciting projects ahead of us and I look forward to assisting in the delivery of those projects for the community.”
Long time community worker and event organiser Jo Rodda joins the list of new Councillors in Wentworth and says she too is looking forward to making a solid contribution this term.
“My service to the community drove me to stand for Council and to have the privilege to serve one’s community is something to be celebrated,” she said.
“I am really looking forward to my role as a Wentworth Shire Councillor and to the opportunity to make a difference for my community.
“I think this council has a great diversity of backgrounds and experiences and I think we will all work in a collaborative and respectful way, which I think is fabulous, because that’s what you need – a diversity of opinion, at the same time getting on with the job.”
Councillor Elstone paid tribute to now former Councillors Don McKinnon and Peter Nunan (retired), Melisa Hederics (resigned), Bill Wheeldon and Jane MacAllister (not re-elected) for their service over the past term and beyond.
Mr Wheeldon had been a Councillor for the past 40 years, including a term as Mayor in 2015-16.
Mr McKinnon was elected to Council in 1987, became Shire President in 1991 and then Mayor in 1993 after the designation of the role changed with the Local Government Act 1993.
He resigned from Council after 11 consecutive terms as Mayor however later returned to Council and again held the Mayoral role from 2012-15.
– JOHN DOOLEY