TAMWORTH mayor Col Murray has stepped from a role on a Australian regional affairs lobby group to better “fulfill obligations” to the local community.
The Regional Capitals Australia board had a shake-up recently with its chair and deputy chair, Cr Murray, standing aside.
Cr Murray will remain on the board as secretary, while Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh takes over the reins from Geraldton’s Shane Van Styn who moved to deputy.
While the group chiefly lobbies federal politicians to take on issues relevant to regional cities, Cr Murray said he had to better prioritise his time for Tamworth.
“There’s a lot of commitments associated with the role,” he said.
“Given the right circumstances, I would have loved to continue on or step-up to chair, but I’ve just got some priorities to this community.”
However, he believed there was benefit for Tamworth in taking up the role two years ago.
“It certainly gives you more access to politicians and opportunities to have some input on policies,” he said.
The mayor also has his eyes ahead on the formation of the Regional Cities NSW group he has proposed to bring together to put pressure on the state government.
At least 11 councils around the state have committed to join the group.
Cr Murray was also keen to take a step back to keep a closer watch on projects happening in the Tamworth region presently with council currently negotiating a deal with Virgin Australia which is looking to establish a pilot training academy in the city.
“It’s a time of opportunity now, we’re seeing some good projects coming along and I want to make sure I’ve got the time available do what the community expects of its mayor,” he said.
“I’ve been able to manage in the past but I’m aware that I need to manage it into the future.
“And the main reason [for stepping down] was it was a pretty demanding role.”