Home' The Great Southern Star : November 8th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - PA G E 11
By Brad Lester
A UNITED council is the shared ambi-
tion of the new South Gippsland Shire
Many councillors-elect pledged a desire to
work together when the successful election can-
didates were declared at a ceremony in Leongatha
Memorial Hall last Wednesday.
The councillors-elect’ pledge follows internal
turmoil within the last council and no doubt that
in-fighting contributed to the re-election of just
three councillors: Lorraine Brunt, Don Hill and
New councillor-elect Alyson Skinner told the
crowd at the hall, “I believe we will be able to
work together. That’s what the poll showed.”
Councillor-elect Jeremy Rich said, “I hope that
through the new council we can work together for
the betterment of the region.”
Mr McEwen said the election results, in which
previous councillors Mohya Davies, Jim Fawcett,
Jeanette Harding, Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks and
Bob Newton were not returned, was a sign the
community wanted change.
“There is a desire to have a collaborative cul-
ture in council and that we look after the common
good and not self interest,” Mr McEwen said.
He called for council to focus on economic
development, greater transparency and equity of
infrastructure around the shire.
“It is very important we develop a shared vi-
By Sarah Vella
THE Bass Coast Shire Council election
result was made official last Wednesday,
after the result was declared in a short
ceremony at the Wonthaggi council
The nine councillors, including eight new faces,
took the oath of office on Friday evening and will
experience their first ordinary council meeting later
The new council comprises of Clare Le Serve,
Bruce Kent and Geoff Ellis for Western Port Ward,
Les Larke, Brett Tessari and Julian Brown for
Bunurong Ward and Pamela Rothfield, Stephen Ful-
larton and Michael Whelan for Island Ward.
Cr Tessari is looking forward to the challenge of
being a councillor in Bass Coast.
He said he was ready to dive in headfirst and
start working for the community in these “exciting
“My door will always be open, that’s what I ran
for. Let’s get going. I am looking forward to the test,”
Cr Larke said he ran in the election to give back to
the community and one of his aims was to restore the
financial health of the council.
“I am committed to providing genuine, strong
and fair representation to all voices within the com-
munity,” he said.
“It should be an exciting time of change and new
Cr Whelan wants to work hard to push the issues
he promoted throughout his campaign.
“There is a divide within the community across
the Bass Coast, which is unfortunate. We need to get
together to achieve excellent results,” he said.
Cr Fullarton said he wanted to see the new coun-
cil achieve things on the ground and not just develop
“I am looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
Cr Ellis said he was keen to start working coop-
eratively with the new councillors, council staff and
the community to achieve valuable outcomes for Bass
The only returned councillor, Cr Le Serve, said it
was a privilege to be re-elected.
“I look forward to picking up where the previous
council left off. I am passionate about the community
and about building a strong team,” she said.
“We have a great skill set and should be able to hit
the ground running. We have a lot of work to do.”
Council CEO Paul Buckley said it is an “exciting
period” for the Bass Coast Shire.
“Hopefully this will be a fulfilling and rewarding
four years for you all,” he said.
New council promises to work together
All together: councillors-elect of the the new look South Gippsland Shire Council link arms
in a show of unity after the formal declaration of the election last Wednesday. From left,
councillors-elect Ray Argento, Alyson Skinner, Jeremy Rich, Aaron Brown, Lorraine Brunt,
Andrew McEwen, Maxine Kiel, Don Hill and Meg Edwards.
sion with the community,” he said.
Mr Hill said the nine councillors “appear to
me to be independent councillors and that bodes
well for the future”.
“We had the support from the community for
change and I think we can deliver that for the
community,” he said.
Councillor-elect Meg Edwards said while
councillors can learn from the past, they must
“live in the now and plan for the future”.
“We need to start the message of being posi-
tive in our community,” she said.
The new council includes:
Ray Argento, Jer-
emy Rich and Alyson Skinner;
Aaron Brown, Lorraine
Brunt and Andrew McEwen; and
Tarwin Valley Ward:
Meg Edwards, Don Hill
and Maxine Kiel.
In their first formal addresses as councillors, the
newcomers spoke of a desire to advance the re-
Ms Kiel said, “I’m excited to be able to take
the shire forward.”
Mr Argento said, “I want to ensure that this
region grows and prospers, and that we build this
region for everyone to enjoy.”
Mr Brown said the councillors brought diverse
skills and backgrounds to the council table, while
Ms Brunt thanked the previous council.
“The council has left us in a good position
and I’m sure we will be able to build on that,”
Mr Hill praised former councillor Kieran Ken-
nedy who did not seek re-election, noting he had
“the highest admiration for his ethics and con-
duct”, and also paid tribute to Ms Harding.
The councillors-elect will become councillors
when they are sworn in tomorrow (Wednesday).
They spent last Wednesday undertaking ad-
ministrative tasks, such as allocation of phones
and computers, and discussion of the induction
In office: the new Bass Coast Shire Council after they were sworn in, front, from left, Les
Larke, Pamela Rothfield, Clare Le Serve and Brett Tessari, and back, Geoff Ellis, Michael
Whelan, Bruce Kent, Stephen Fullarton and Julian Brown.
Council ready to roll
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