A man who helped build Cobram brick by brick was elected Moira Shire Council’s new mayor at a special council meeting last week.
Former bricklayer and builder Libro Mustica was elected unopposed and will take the reins from outgoing mayor Gary Cleveland.
Cr Mustica built many of the houses around Cobram, first as a builder and then as the founder of Oasis Homes.
He had huge commercial success as a local businessman, but he still enjoys getting his hands dirty with his fellow tradies.
‘‘I’m happiest when I’m in the trenches with my mates and I’m passionate about being equal to all my workers,’’ he said.
‘‘As a mayor I’ll need to learn to delegate and make this Moira Shire of ours a better place.’’
Despite his chronic work-a-holism, Cr Mustica has found the time to volunteer as a member of Cobram Rotary, vice-president of Cobram Italian Social Club and a member of the Cobram Development Committee.
He has also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to community projects including Ottrey Homes, sporting clubs and various local charities.
His main goal as mayor will be to reduce youth unemployment by offering businesses incentives to hire more young people.
Cr Mustica’s family moved to Cobram when he was 10 years old, a move he described as the ‘‘best decision’’.
‘‘My parents chose Cobram and we all embraced this beautiful area as our new home,’’ he said.
‘‘Since those early years I have become deeply passionate and committed to further advance the area that I love.’’
Cr Mustica is the first mayor of Moira Shire from a non-English speaking background and gave a portion of his election speech in his native tongue.
‘‘I believe it is time for a fresh start, time for members of the community to be confident in their local council and time for locals to have a voice and know that we are here to listen,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to invest in our people and create a community where our youth can not only get a job, but develop a lifelong career rather than moving away to the city.’’
Cr Mustica will preside over his first ordinary meeting of Moira Shire Council on Wednesday, November 22. The meeting will start at 6pm at Cobram Civic Centre.