New Leadership for Gwydir Shire

October 13, 2007

Gwydir Shire Council has a new Mayor following the Mayoral elections on Monday.

Retiring Mayor, Councillor Mark Coulton said he would not be contesting the ballot for Mayor, as the time he has to spend in the electorate of Parkes is impacting on his ability to serve the people of the Gwydir Shire.

Consequently, a ballot was held for the position of mayor with Cr Catherine Egan, Cr Peter Caskey and Cr David Rose offering themselves for election.
On the recommendation of General Manager, Max Eastcott and the supporting motion of Crs Clark and Rose, a preferential ballot was held.

After the distribution of preferences, Cr Peter Caskey was declared elected. Cr Peter Pankhurst was the only nomination for the position of Deputy Mayor and thus was duly elected for the Mayoral term.

Discussion then took place about remuneration for the Deputy for whom there is no extra remuneration. Mr Eastcott said that the issue could be raised as a motion at the next Shires conference but at the moment it is not possible for the council to decide to make an allowance available for the Deputy Mayor.

Mayor Caskey offered to give 25% of his remuneration to the Deputy, however the feeling amongst the other councillors was that any such arrangement should be made privately.

Cr Wearne was concerned that the move “may be tying our hands for people in the future.” Cr Tremain said such action could be the first step in gaining government approval to grant some kind of reimbursement for the extra time needed to do the job.

Cr Mark Coulton was also opposed to setting such a precedent. Mayor Caskey said that he was against making private arrangements so the issue went no further.