COL Murray has been re-elected unopposed for his second term as mayor of Tamworth Regional Council.
During last night’s first council meeting of the new term, Cr Murray’s position as mayor was uncontested during the mayoral election.
Deputy mayor Russell Webb was also returned to his position, uncontested and unopposed.
In a huge testament to the contributions of both councillors over the previous four- year term, no other nominations for mayor or deputy mayor were received.
Both Cr Murray and Cr Webb agreed over the coming term there would be a few challenges for the new council, many of them stemming from state government-
instigated reviews to the Local Government Act and the NSW Planning System.
The amalgamation of the NSW Shires and Local Government Association are also likely to have a significant impact on the Tamworth regional councillors over the next four years.
For the first few weeks of the new council, following last night’s meeting, Cr
Murray said things would be “business as usual”.
“We will probably have a bit of time to settle in, and after committee allocations, work things out,” he said.
“We have lost two very experienced councillors so there will be some time
working through to catch up the newer members of the council.”
Cr Murray said throughout October the plan was to review the four-year strategic and delivery plan with the new councillors asked to offer their thoughts.
“I don’t foresee there being too many changes to the plan though,” he said.
One of the critical things councillors Murray and Webb hoped to achieve in the coming term were improvements in council efficiencies.
“Following on from the rate rise, we hope to be able to improve productivity,” Cr Murray said.
“I don’t think another rate rise would be favourable. I think over the coming term, trying to better increase our efficiencies will help to contribute to filling the funding shortfall.”
Cr Murray said he did not envisage any big infrastructure projects for the council in the next 18 months to two years.
“I think we are in a position where consolidating what we have and focusing on maintaining what’s already there,” Cr Murray said.
Law and order will be another big focus.
“That will be an ongoing high priority during the new term,” Cr Murray said.
During last night’s meeting councillors, including newly- elected councillors Tim Coates and Mark Rodda, were also nominated to the 20-plus special purpose council committees.
It was also decided during last night’s meeting, Cr Murray, Cr Webb, Cr Treloar and Cr Coates would represent the council at the Local Government Association of NSW annual conference to be held in Dubbo next month.