Good for bal­ance

Cr Fog­a­rty says hav­ing three women elected is . . .

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - EDWARD RIVER COUNCIL ELECTION - By ZOE MCMAUGH

Women make up a third of the new Ed­ward River Coun­cil, which elected coun­cil­lor and for­mer De­niliquin Coun­cil mayor Pat Fog­a­rty says is im­por­tant for the com­mu­nity.

Cr Fog­a­rty, who polled the sec­ond high­est pri­mary votes, says she is sure coun­cil new­com­ers Marg Bull and Peta Betts will of­fer some new per­spec­tives and think­ing.

While not a record num­ber of fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the lo­cal area — with Cr Fog­a­rty, Marg Con­allin, Kathy Simp­son and Sue Tay­lor all serv­ing on De­niliquin Coun­cil to­gether at one stage — Cr Fog­a­rty says to have three on the new coun­cil was a good re­sult.

‘‘We (women) make up 52 per cent of this com­mu­nity, so hav­ing fe­males on the coun­cil is good for bal­anced rep­re­sen­ta­tion,’’ she said.

‘‘There is a lot of ev­i­dence sur­round­ing the fact that men and women think dif­fer­ently and their per­spec­tive is dif­fer­ent.

‘‘Coun­cils are all about de­bat­ing a va­ri­ety of as­pects, and this bal­ance will al­low us to achieve it.

‘‘It will also be im­por­tant in help­ing the pro­mo­tion of women, and op­por­tu­ni­ties for women in our com­mu­ni­ties and board rooms.’’

Cr Fog­a­rty served as a chair of the coun­cil’s Lo­cal Rep­re­sen­ta­tion Com­mit­tee ad­vis­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tor dur­ing the merger process and said she was ‘‘stoked’’ to have been re-elected to the new coun­cil.

But she said she was un­der no il­lu­sion it would be an easy job.

‘‘I think we have a lot of work to do to build a strong com­mu­nity from what was two coun­cils,’’ she said.

‘‘La­bor (state gov­ern­ment) is talk­ing about de-amal­ga­ma­tion if it is elected, but I think it would be a tragedy to dis­able what we’ve done so far.

‘‘The staff have gone through a ma­jor up­heaval al­ready, and we now have some good lead­er­ship and a fo­cus on putting the whole re­gion on the map.

‘‘I think the elec­tion re­sults send a clear mes­sage that peo­ple want to see the merger con­tinue on a suc­cess­ful path — we would not have the re­sult we do if that was not the case.’’

Cr Bull was forced to re­sign from a tourism of­fi­cer role at Ed­ward River Coun­cil’s vis­i­tor in­for­ma­tion cen­tre to stand in the coun­cil elec­tion, with the re­sult jus­ti­fy­ing her de­ci­sion.

‘‘I am de­lighted and hon­oured to be given the op­por­tu­nity to work with the com­mu­nity as part of the in­au­gu­ral Ed­ward River Coun­cil team.

‘‘We, the coun­cil and the com­mu­nity, have a very ex­cit­ing and pos­i­tive fu­ture to­gether.

‘‘I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with all mem­bers of the newly elected coun­cil to achieve some great out­comes.’’

Cr Betts said she was both ‘‘ex­cited and over­whelmed’’ at be­ing elected to the coun­cil.

‘‘I think the coun­cil is a good mix, and I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing what all th­ese great minds can do once we all come to­gether,’’ she said.

‘‘I do have a lot of learn­ing to do as a new­comer, and to be­gin with I will be tak­ing on board how all the pro­cesses work.

‘‘At this stage I am re­luc­tant to share my vi­sion for the coun­cil un­til I know what is re­quired of me.

‘‘I don’t want to be mak­ing any rash state­ments, or mak­ing prom­ises I can­not keep, but I am ex­cited about what lies ahead.’’

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