New mayor calls for unity


THE new mayor of South Gippsland Shire Council, Cr Lorraine Brunt, has called for “good working relations” among councillors.

Her call came after a turbulent year for the new council, with claims of bullying and in-fighting among councillors.

“All councillors will have a voice, an equal voice that will be respected and listened to,” she said.

As to how she would achieve unity, Cr Brunt told The Star, “By following good governance processes and ensuring that everyone around the table is supported, encouraged and given equal opportunity to contribute.”

She said she would advocate to agencies for funding for projects to reinvigorate Leongatha and Korumburra, and council would stop the sale of land in Venus Bay until after a review of open space in the town.

Cr Brunt said council would revisit the direction of Coal Creek Community Park and Museum when council reviews its costs and value to the shire.

Hailing from Poowong, she expects ongoing growth in that town and Nyora, and feels “it is important that Loch retain its village feel, with development mostly being infill within the town boundaries.”

Cr Brunt won the mayoral vote from Andrew McEwen, six votes to three. Her supporters were councillors Aaron Brown, Alyson Skinner, Meg Edwards, Maxine Kiel, former mayor Ray Argento and herself.

Cr McEwen won the votes of himself, and councillors Don Hill and Jeremy Rich.

Cr Brown was named deputy mayor, after defeating Cr McEwen.

In his speech, Cr McEwen said he was standing for mayor as the community had voted for change.

“I believe I have the experience, capability and desire to work collaboratively and inclusively for change with all councillors for the benefit of the community,” he said.

He said he had proven his leadership ability by advocating for increased productivity, more funding for maintenance of recreation reserves, the establishment of the Korumburra Round Table, and securing commitment for a priority project for Korumburra’s Commercial Street, hub and railway projects.

Outgoing mayor Cr Ray Argento praised council staff for their service to the community and noted the contribution of volunteers “who shape our shire through their dedication and good work”.

Cr Brunt and her husband Michael run a dairy farm at Poowong. She enjoys farming, animals and family, including her six grandchildren.

Cr Brown runs his parents’ sheep and cattle property at Wattle Bank, and will marry his fiancee Sari Woods in May. His interests include running, squash, hiking and outdoor activities.


Leading the way: South Gippsland Shire Council’s new deputy mayor Cr Aaron Brown and mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt in the heart of Leongatha last Wednesday. They face the challenge of trying to unify council.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23305

Posted by on Nov 21 2017. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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