Mayor's Message - November 2018

Posted Thursday 1 November, 08:41am

On Tuesday night I was elected as the fourth mayor of the Ararat Rural City community in two years. Having been involved in local government since 1983, I have seen and understand the frustration the community feels at times towards all levels of government.

I realise that most people can relate to local councillors because they are much easier to contact than State and Federal politicians. This should make Councillors more in tune with their communities.

At this time can I, on behalf of this Council, apologise to the community for our actions of the past. Even though we have three new councillors, I believe we all realize that the community is still hurting from the processes Council engaged in during the past.

We are also aware that there are a number of areas that require stronger attention and focus. We have made a strong commitment to undertake reviews of every Council service over the next 12 months and we are already well into that process.

We are committed to good governance and serving the community and improving results across the board

I believe with our new CEO, Dr Tim Harrison, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the culture of this organisation. I can already see the effect he’s having on the staff and the people he meets.

I would like to publically thank our interim CEO, Allan Bawden, who had a particularly hard job with such a small timeline. I would also like to thank our Monitor, Janet Dore, who, though we have sometimes had differences of opinion, has the same objective - a Council accountable to its community and acting in the best interests of its community.

Finally, I would like to thank all the Councillors for their support. I would like to particularly acknowledge the work of Cr Allgood during her time as Mayor and for taking over during difficult circumstances.

Ararat is a vibrant community and the gateway to Western Victoria. I believe that Ararat Rural City has unlimited potential for economic and population growth in a community that accepts individuals for who they are and what they contribute. I hope to be able to tap into the energy and enthusiasm of the community and promote Ararat as a welcoming, caring place to live and work.

Cr Peter Beales