Six old, three new

September 16, 2017

Three former Murray Shire councillors and three newcomers have won the Moama and Greater Murray ward election for the new Murray River Council.

The Moama ward will be represented by Nicole Cohen, Chris Bilkey and Gen Campbell, while Geoff Wise, Tom Weyrich and Tony Aquino are the Greater Murray ward councillors.

The Greater Wakool ward was won by all former councillors, immediate past Wakool Shire mayor Neil Gorey and Alan Mathers and Ann Crowe.

The results were officially declared yesterday, and former Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich has already indicated he would seek election from his peers as the new council’s mayor.

Cr Gorey said while he feels it is too early to have any preconceived ideas about the leadership, he said he would be prepared to stand if supported.

‘‘It is a democratic process and any of the nine councillors can put their hand up for mayor or deputy mayor,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a decision that has to made in an open discussion with the other councillors.’’

Polling the highest number of votes in the Moama ward, Nikki Cohen said she was ‘‘humbled’’ by the support.

‘‘I feel really humbled to have been elected and certainly did not expect such a high percentage of the vote,’’ she said.

‘‘But the community has placed their faith and trust in me to do a job and I will certainly do all that I can to not let them down — let the work begin.’’

Mrs Cohen said she would not put her hand up for the mayor position.

Meanwhile, former Murray Shire councillor Chris Bilkey said he wasn’t sure whether he would stand for the mayoral position.

He said he was elected with ‘‘trepidation’’ on Wednesday because the success of this council was dependent on the ‘‘level of good will’’ of the councillors.

Newcomer Tony Aquino said he was looking forward to being on the new council and ruled out challenging for the leadership.

The first meeting of the newly elected council is Tuesday, September 26 at the Mathoura Visitor Information and Business Centre’s multi function room on the Cobb Hwy from 1pm where the mayor and deputy mayor are expected to be elected.

The first item of business will be the affirmation of the councillors.

~ with Riverine Herald

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