General News

9 April, 2024

Advice for new-look Tablelands council

GOOD advice from a former local mayor was passed on to the new-look Tablelands Regional Council at its official swearing-in ceremony last week.

NEW COUNCIL: Pictured (from left) are Cr Annette Haydon (Division 2), Cr Kylie Lang (Div 6), Maree Baade (Div 4), Mayor Rod Marti, Cr Kevin Cardew (Div 1), Cr Dave Bilney (Div 3), and Cr Con Spanos (Div 5).
NEW COUNCIL: Pictured (from left) are Cr Annette Haydon (Division 2), Cr Kylie Lang (Div 6), Maree Baade (Div 4), Mayor Rod Marti, Cr Kevin Cardew (Div 1), Cr Dave Bilney (Div 3), and Cr Con Spanos (Div 5).

First-timers Maree Baade (Division 4), Con Spanos (Division 5) and Kylie Lang (Division 6) joined re-elected councillors Dave Bilney (Division 3), Annette Haydon (Division 2) and Kevin Cardew (Division 1) in taking the declaration of office in front of chief executive officer Gary Rinehart and received their certificates from former Eacham Shire Mayor, Ray Byrnes OAM.

“Ahead of you over the next four years is the task of successfully guiding the council business through the challenges and changes that local governments have to contend with,” Mr Byrnes told the councillors.

“For those councillors who are new to local government, I’m sure you will find the experience both challenging and rewarding. 

“It will be a learning experience for you but you will also have the opportunity to bring fresh ideas and new insights to the council and keep them from getting stale and comfortable – it’s good to see new blood to come into a council.

“Now as a representative of the Tablelands community, I expect this new council to function as an effective team, working together for the whole Tablelands region.

“While individual councillors are elected by divisional communities and may be expected to bring the council their special knowledge of their division in council discussions, there’s an overriding responsibility on each councillor to adopt a whole-of-council approach when it comes to decision making.

“I wish you well in your endeavours over the next four years and look forward to a period of sound decision making by council that will support steady growth and development in our local economy.”

Returning Mayor Rod Marti congratulated his fellow councillors for not only being elected, but also for the significant journey they had been on since the campaign commenced.

“Getting elected to public office is no mean feat,” he said.

“It comes with challenges, highs and lows, a lot of face-to-face discussions and community forums including Q&As, and ultimately prepares and gives us greater insight into our community.

“I really like that this council has a mix of serving councillors and new councillors, and more women.

“This is a great opportunity for the merging of fresh minds and ideas on the one hand, with councillor knowledge, experience and knowhow on the other.”

He also spoke of the importance the role councillors played in the community.

“Our councillor role is extremely important - collectively we are the pre-eminent decision-making body for our towns and our community,” Mayor Marti said.

“Local government is the level of government closest to the people and, to use a cliché, it is where the rubber hits the road with its focus on critical infrastructure and daily living amenity.

“It’s loaded with purpose, responsibility, service, accountability and potential.

“Many of the decisions we make as a collective will have long-standing and formative impacts for our community, so how we arrive at those decisions is critically important.

“It’s our duty to do our homework, to consult widely, to seek the best possible advice and to favour the best outcome for the broader community.

“It’s not an easy task, and it’s one that will continue to challenge us for as long as we serve.”

Mayor Rod Marti and former Eacham Shire Mayor Ray Byrnes OAM at the swearing-in ceremony.
Mayor Rod Marti and former Eacham Shire Mayor Ray Byrnes OAM at the swearing-in ceremony.

Mayor Marti also gave praise to council staff who had continued to deliver services to the community during the long caretaker period.

“While all candidates have been busy on the campaign, there has been no let up with the operations of council itself – that’s because this is what council does.

“So, despite it being extremely wet for three months since TC Jasper in December, the parks and gardens crews, roads crews, waste transfer crew, local laws, plumbers, planners and many other dedicated people who make this organisation have been getting things done.

“On behalf of all councillors, I thank them for their work.”

The Mayor ended his speech by telling councillors to reflect on what they had achieved by being elected. 

“Councillors, do not underestimate what you have achieved at this moment,” he said.

“Look forward to the four years and know that, with each step along the way, you will steadily learn and continually fine tune what it means to be a councillor.

“I have emphasised challenges today because there are many, and they will inordinately occupy our minds, however the role also comes with much personal satisfaction and rewards by knowing you have contributed to key strategic decisions that shape the place that we all live in.”

The council was set to hold a meeting on Tuesday to select a Deputy Mayor.


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