VOTERS in the Surf Coast Shire’s Winchelsea Ward now officially have a new representative, with the swearing-in of James McIntyre.
Cr McIntyre was formally inducted as a councillor in a ceremony held at the shire’s council chambers on Tuesday morning.
Cr McIntyre, who recently moved from Moriac to Gherang, replaces Carol McGregor on the council.
His elevation into the seat at a countback earlier this month came as a surprise, as Winchelsea Ward candidate Adrian Schonfelder was considered the frontrunner as he had the third-highest number of first-preference votes behind the elected Heather Wellington and Carol McGregor.
Cr McIntyre thanked Ms McGregor for the work she had done as a councillor for the past term and a half.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill – I’m sure my fellow councillors will agree – but I’m looking forward to getting on board and doing my best for the Winchelsea Ward,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge being a councillor brings.”
He said his message to the people of the ward was that he was approachable and here for them.
Cr McIntyre went to work almost immediately, with a council briefing beginning only 30 minutes after his swearing-in and a special council meeting on the shire’s submission to the state government’s proposed reforms of the Local Government Bill about two hours later.
Shire chief executive officer Keith Baillie said Cr McIntyre’s swearing-in was “a bit of a celebration of democracy”.
A byelection to fill the Anglesea Ward extraordinary vacancy created by Cr Libby Coker’s election to federal parliament will be conducted by mailout in late August.