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    NEW LEADERS: Ararat councillor Jo Armstrong was appointed mayor at a statutory meeting last week. She will lead council for the next 12 months with support from deputy mayor Bill Braithwaite.

Mayoral elections are underway

By Colin MacGillivray

Local governments across the Wimmera, Grampians and southern Mallee regions are in the process of deciding which councillors will lead them during the final 12 months of their terms.

Councils in Ararat, Horsham, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack municipalities are conducting statutory meetings to vote for mayors for the next 12 months.

Horsham Rural City Council will host its statutory meeting tomorrow night.

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Candidates call for Horsham council


Current mayor Mark Radford said he intended to nominate for the position again and was unsure if any other councillors would nominate.

“I am happy to put my hand up again and see what happens,” he said.

“We’ll call for nominations at the meeting and you never know what’s going to happen – it is always a bit of an unknown.

“Being mayor of Horsham Rural City Council is a great privilege, and the fact your colleagues elect you to that position is something you can never underestimate. 

“We have a responsibility to lead the council through our final 12 months together. 

“We’re coming up to the end of our term. It is an important position and it would be a privilege to be able to do it again if I am elected.”

West Wimmera and Hindmarsh shire councils will conduct their statutory meetings tonight, Northern Grampians on Monday and Yarriambiack on November 27.

Meanwhile, Jo Armstrong was voted Ararat Rural City Council mayor for the next 12 months at a statutory meeting last week, replacing Peter Beales in the role.

Cr Armstrong said she was looking forward to a big year ahead for the region.

“We have some really exciting economic opportunities that will come to us with the building of the extension of the East Grampians Rural Pipeline through our district,” she said.

“We also need to address our housing shortage and make sure we complete our council plans within budget.

“We have some really exciting things on our horizon, and I am proud and humbled to be leading us towards achieving those objectives.”

Cr Armstrong ran for a seat in Victoria’s upper house in last year’s state election.

While her bid was ultimately unsuccessful, she said she had learned plenty from the experience.

“I think it’s a real advantage for me as a councillor to have experienced first-hand how the networks function across local, state and federal governments,” she said.

“The number of people I have met in positions of influence who are always willing to lend a hand and work as a team to find solutions to the challenges we have in local government is going to be really positive.

“I see it as an absolute plus. It was a great experience and I think I’m a better person for it.”

Cr Armstrong paid tribute to the strong leadership of Cr Beales and chief executive Tim Harrison and said she hoped to build on their foundation.

“I’m really fortunate that Cr Beales has been an excellent leader and a great example for our council,” she said.

“He has always been very fair in his dealings with people, and a real positive for other councillors has been his clarity of position.

“Our council has kicked some great goals in the first year with Dr Harrison as chief executive.

“I think it has been a great strength for council to work with him and the positive changes he has brought to the organisation bode well for the future.”

The entire November 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!