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6 March, 2020

TRC Councillor Owen Byrnes not running

TRC Councillor Owen Byrnes is not running in the upcoming local election.

By Phil Brandel

One of the Tablelands Regional Council's (TRC) more colourful characters has decided not to recontest his position for the upcoming 2020 local government elections

Division 4 Councillor Owen Byrnes says that personal and business issues have gotten in the way. “I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t been able to get my personal and business affairs in order to run for the upcoming TRC elections."

“I think this council needs really strong solid leadership and I’m a hoping new team will do that. I would have loved to be part of that team, but I’m not going to commit to something I can’t give 100 per cent too.”

Councillor Byrnes says he has had a number of highlights working in council over the past few years “I believe that getting administration more focused on delivering of capital budgets was a high light. When I started they were only delivering 60% of their capital budget, now we have delivered over 90 per cent of capital budget”

“Also more efficiency and better delivery of services to the residents of the Tablelands and we have been far more proactive in receiving funding from the state and federal governments”

Even though Councillor Byrnes will officially finish up next month he is planning on keeping his finger on the pulse of local events, the new council and Division 6 where he now lives.

As for the upcoming election in Division 6, “I think Bernie (Wilce) has a lot of experience and a lot of community knowledge. Darryl (Drury) is very passionate because he has had a few goes at running for council and it’s obviously something he wants to do. But at this point in time, I think Bernie is offering a better direction”

As for endorsing someone for Mayor, Councillor Byrnes isn’t mincing his words “Running for Mayor without council experience is a very ambitious move. By the time you worked out what you’re doing you would be so far into your term of council it would nearly be over”

“There are only two candidates running for mayor with local government experience, and I without a doubt I would have to endorse Rod Marti. Due to his connection to the people and the local farming community”

Even though Councillor Byrnes is hanging up is councillors shoes he said "never say never" at running again "maybe in years to come I would like to have another go.”

The last council meeting for the current TRC is this Thursday, March 12.


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