TWEED SHIRE Council Mayor Katie Milne and newcomer Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry have secured the top spots following a 4 to 3 vote at tonight’s (November 17) council meeting.
The place is secured for Mayor Milne until September 2018 whilst Deputy Mayor Cherry will serve until September 2017.
Cr Warren Polglase was up against Mayor Milne with votes from Cr Pryce Allsop and Cr James Owen, although did not have the numbers.
Cr Milne received four votes – from Councillors Chris Cherry, Ron Cooper, Reece Byrnes and herself.
Cr Milne said: “It’s really lovely to be endorsed again by the Councillors and I just hope we can work really well together, it’s a nice bunch of new councillors, so I’ve got high hopes that it’s going to be a fantastic, positive outcome for the Shire for the next four years. We’re all committed to that end and we’ve all said we want to work together.”
“My priority is trying to keep that agenda of sustainability going – it’s more important than ever. There’s obviously some very important environmental and social issues as well……we’re a low socio-economic area and we must make sure we look after the people who need it most.”
“We need to look after businesses too so we can promote jobs and green initiatives to create extra jobs in addition to the normal jobs.
Speaking about recent election results in neighbouring shires, Cr Milne said: “It shows that the community really appreciate this environment and you can’t dispute that. They’re just getting more knowledgeable that the community really needs that sort of leadership – it’s too special to give it away for any sort of development, we want really high quality, high class development and that’s what our environment deserves. We have international obligations to look after it.”
The Deputy Mayor is Councillor Chris Cherry, the other nominee for the position was Councillor Pryce Allsop.
Cr Cherry won the vote four votes to three, along the same voting lines as the Mayoral vote.
This is Councillor Cherry’s first term as a Councillor, after being elected following the delayed Tweed Shire Council elections held on 29 October 2016. She ran as an independent.
“Being Deputy is fantastic, I’m really excited for the future, I think it’s looking really good,” Cr Cherry said.
Speaking about Cr Cherry, Cr Milne said: “I think it’s a really big endorsement of Chris for the work that she’s done for the Pottsville community over so many years, respecting all sides of the community. She’s well known and well respected.”
This is the first all-female leadership team in Tweed Shire Council’s history. In another first, Councillor Reece Byrnes, at 28, is the youngest Councillor to be elected in Tweed.
Mayor Katie Milne said, “It was lovely to be endorsed and I will work to do things on merit and develop a long term strategy for the community’s vision.”
When asked how developers should approach the Tweed Shire Council Mayor Milne encouraged applicants to undertake community consultation.
“I would encourage any developer to work closely with the community prior to making their application,” she said.
Mayor Milne shrugged off suggestions that developers should beware.
Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry praised Mayor Milne and said her reelection was in line with the community’s wishes.
“I’m really excited to get started,” she said.
The mood was cheerful and optimistic at the meeting and the Councillors were sworn in.