New mayor prepares for new year ahead
AS the dust on Ballarat’s new council began to settle, last week, the Ballarat Town Hall saw the city take its next step and elect a new mayor and deputy-mayor.
While the special statutory meeting, chaired by interim CEO Janet Dore, was closed to the public due to restrictions it was live broadcast on the City of Ballarat’s website for residents to watch.
During the meeting and prior to electing the positions, the new council moved the motion for a one-year mayoral term rather than two years.
Kicking things off with the selection of the next mayor, saw Cr Mark Harris withdraw from the race leaving Cr Daniel Moloney to be unanimously elected to the position.
In his acceptance speech Cr Moloney thanked the City’s future, present and past staff and councilors for their commitment to Ballarat during such a tough year.
“Together we can bring our collective knowledge, experience and ideas to work well together for our city,” he said.
“I am so grateful for this team, we have some great skills and I look forward to tapping into each of those skills.
“I’m committed to using this opportunity to progress us all toward a bigger, bolder and better Ballarat.”
For the deputy position, Cr Belinda Coates also withdrew from the race before the vote, leaving Cr Amy Johnson to likewise be unanimously selected by council for the spot.
Grateful for the leadership promotion, Cr Johnson took the opportunity to thank her family and supporters.
“By the time I finish this term, my daughter Audrey will be old enough to start to get an understanding of what I’m doing and I look forward to being able to role model to her the importance of giving back to the community,” she said.
“I’ve been on council for eight years and it’s the first time I’ve taken on the role so I’m really excited about the opportunity to have more of a leadership role.
“The next year needs to be squarely focused on supporting our community to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects.”
In addition to selecting a mayor and deputy, during the meeting all nine new councilors-elect took both an oath or affirmation and a declaration to abide by a Councillor Code of Conduct.
Former deputy mayor and current councillor, Cr Belinda Coates said she was genuinely excited and optimistic for the new council and the year to come.
“After the year we’ve had, I think there’s so much to build on,” she said.
“Now more than ever really with the challenges we have had in 2020 it’s been a wakeup call and exposed the cracks in our community.
“I will maintain my focus on climate action… we have to demonstrate to the public that we are fair dinkum and bring them along as well.”
Cr Johnson added, “We have an outstanding team with a whole range of skillsets, it’s really exciting to have both Tracy and Peter join the team, both highly respected members of our community.”
“I’m more excited than I have ever been able the potential of the group and I think the community should hold the same hopes.”