Home' The Great Southern Star : August 16th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - PAGE 9
By Brad Lester
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council mayor
Cr Bob Newton has changed his mind and
will contest the October council election.
He has 24 years as a councillor under his belt, hav-
ing served with the current shire and the former Shire of
Korumburra before council amalgamations.
The Korumburra resident was to stand down at the
end of this current council term but felt the new council
needed the stability and experience he could offer, and
so he will recontest Strzelecki Ward “to keep the place
Councillors Mohya Davies, Jeanette Harding, Nigel
Hutchinson-Brooks, Lorraine Brunt, Don Hill and An-
drew McEwen have confirmed they will re-stand. Crs
Jim Fawcett and Kieran Kennedy are undecided.
The mayor said, “I would like to see the Karmai
Children’s Centre come to fruition and down the track
all the streetscapes for all the towns.”
Cr Newton said the current council could face a ma-
jor shake-up, predicting up to nine candidates could vie
for the three positions within Strzelecki Ward alone.
“There will be a lot of votes taken from the current
councillors so it will be interesting. If I get booted out,
so be it,” he said.
“There’s just been a few upsets with fellow council-
lors but that has not been my doing.”
Reflecting on his past term, Cr Newton cited his lob-
bying as contributing to the sealing of Hudsons Road,
Korumburra South, being listed among this year’s capi-
tal works, as well as the Korumburra cemetery carpark
and the Karmai centre, although he was reluctant to take
full credit, also paying tribute to fellow councillors.
Cr Davies, of Foster, pledged to provide strong
leadership and governance.
“I will provide regional representation and effective
advocacy to State and Federal governments to maxi-
mise our opportunities to attract government funding,”
“I want to have a collegiate approach, provide a
steady hand and not to be distracted by disruptive influ-
Cr Davies wants to maintain, improve and develop
buildings, roads, bridges and recreation facilities.
“We need to continue to act strategically on issues
such as planning for the future development within
the shire, planning for growth and development in the
western end of the shire, in Korumburra, Leongatha and
Nyora especially,” she said.
“In the Corner Inlet area, council needs to help pro-
vide economic stimulus enabling the area to take advan-
tage of opportunities in tourism such as boating, fishing,
providing adequate facilities for tourism.
“We also need to develop stronger relationships
with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and
Planning, and Parks Victoria to better care for and man-
age some of our reserves and tourism infrastructure.”
A councillor of 16 years, Cr Harding said she has
worked for the restoration of the Long Jetty at Port
Welshpool, served as an ambassador for Viplus Dairy
factory at Toora, and chaired the transport lobby group,
South East Australian Transport Strategy (SEATS).
“This reaches from Goulburn in New South Wales
to Bass in Victoria, and is a very strong transport
organisation,” the Toora resident said.
“Being involved in local government for many
years, I am in a position to work with governments of
Cr Hutchinson-Brooks is hoping for a council of
“new blood and old experience”.
“I want to continue the big picture issues I have
been involved with, like emergency management
planning for the shire, economic development, arts
development, Municipal Association of Victoria and
continue involvement with council’s relations with
State and Federal governments, from whom we get
much needed grant monies,” he said.
“I would love to serve on a council with a majority
of women and hopefully that can be achieved this
“Councillors competing amongst themselves is such
a waste of time and energy. It is unfortunate that some
councillors do not understand the meaning of TEAM:
Together Each Achieves More! I believe I can offer a
balance of experience and maturity.”
By Brad Lester
SOUTH Gippsland Shire councillors
Don Hill and Andrew McEwen will con-
tinue working as a team, as they launch
a joint campaign for re-election in Oc-
Cr Hill is seeking to remain as a representative for
Tarwin Valley Ward and Cr McEwen for Strzelecki
They promise to campaign for a reduced manage-
ment structure that could see some managers reallocat-
ed to other positions “at the coalface”, saying council
has “too many chiefs and not enough indians”.
They will abandon the current proposal for what
they see as a $32 million municipal precinct project,
saying the existing council offices can be refurbished
instead of rebuilt, while still including a new Leongatha
Cr McEwen said, “If we save money from the mu-
nicipal precinct, we could have an extra cycle in coun-
cil’s roads maintenance program.”
They want more money spent in smaller towns and
those communities to have greater say in spending pri-
orities. They will advocate for a school camp at Coal
Creek Community Park and Museum at Korumburra to
increase revenue and create 23 jobs.
Cr Hill believed between $50 million and $70 mil-
lion could be removed from the existing budget.
“Over the next four years, we could put in a 2.5 per-
cent, 1.5 percent and then two zero percent rate rises,
and then go back to 2.5 percent,” he said.
Cr McEwen wants to attract an extra 10,000 people
to the shire, saying they would bring an extra $2 million
in rate revenue to council each year.
He is also seeking community hubs in smaller
towns that would incorporate council customer service
centres and libraries, with library staff also providing
The duo want more public discussions of council
business instead of debate being made confidential,
online streaming of council meetings, the creation of a
finance committee to review council’s forward expen-
diture for the next 15 years and councillors to be given
portfolios based on their skill sets.
Cr Hill wants to reduce council’s media unit budget
by $300,000, while Cr McEwen would reallocate one
media officer position to an arts officer role.
Staying united: South Gippsland Shire councillors Don Hill (left) and Andrew McEwen are
retaining their partnership as they seek re-election to council in October.
Duo reveal game plan
Mayor’s back in council race
• Cr Bob Newton.
• Cr Mohya Davies.
• Cr Jeanette Harding.
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