SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council voted in a new mayor at a Special (Statutory) Meeting last Wednesday. He is Cr James (Jim) Fawcett, a councillor (and former mayor) of many years’ standing
Coastal Promontory Ward councillor Jeanette Harding was elected Deputy Mayor. She takes over from Cr Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks, who did not stand. Cr Harding, who lives in Toora, defeated Cr Fawcett’s own nomination of Cr Mohya Davies, another Coastal Promontory Ward councillor.
In a close contest for mayor, Cr Fawcett defeated Cr Harding’s nomination of Cr Kieran Kennedy, who was hoping for a second term. Cr Kennedy received votes from Crs Don Hill and Andrew McEwen, but with Cr Fawcett (who nominated himself) receiving the support of Crs Mohya Davies, Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks, Bob Newton and Lorraine Brunt, Cr Fawcett defeated Cr Kennedy 5-4.
Remarking that the second year of any new council was crucial, Cr Fawcett, a Leongatha accountant and Tarwin Valley Ward councillor, said that some hard decisions would have to be made but he felt well-placed to lead the council forward. He said he had much to offer, having been involved in the Leongatha community and the shire at large for many years.
He named justification of the budget; the future of the shire’s public swimming pools; the strategic land realisation project; and the renewal of the CEO’s contract as some of the big issues Council would be facing over the next year.