Mes­sage from Chris Bilkey

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS - For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion con­tact coun­cil on 1300 087 004 or visit www.mur­

Hello ev­ery­one, As you might ex­pect when a new set of Coun­cil­lors is elected to rep­re­sent an en­tirely new Coun­cil area (Mur­ray River Coun­cil be­ing the re­sult of the join­ing of the old Mur­ray and Wakool shires), there has been a fo­cus on learn­ing and train­ing for us all this last month. We, the Coun­cil­lors, have been en­gaged in a num­ber of train­ing pro­grams to en­able us to full our roles, to make bet­ter de­ci­sions and to en­sure we fo­cus on the is­sues of im­por­tance. It has cer­tainly been “back to school” month! Nev­er­the­less, we’ve also been busy with busi­ness. One of our key tasks will be bring­ing a new Gen­eral Man­ager on board. Cur­rently we are be­ing well served by our Act­ing GM Des Bilske, who will be with us un­til March or so next year. By that time, we hope to have a new ap­pointee to the role ready and rear­ing to go. At the last Coun­cil Meet­ing, we got the ball rolling in the re­cruit­ment process by seek­ing ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from re­cruiters who will fa­cil­i­tate the search process with us. Watch this space for fur­ther devel­op­ments. One of the con­cerns of res­i­dents and Coun­cil em­ploy­ees liv­ing and work­ing in our smaller com­mu­ni­ties, such as Barham, Mathoura and Moulamein, has been the main­te­nance of em­ployee num­bers in these places in the months and years fol­low­ing the amal­ga­ma­tion. The state leg­is­la­tion that deals with the amal­ga­ma­tion process is very clear. For com­mu­ni­ties with a pop­u­la­tion of less than 5000 peo­ple, Coun­cil em­ployee num­bers must be main­tained as far as is rea­son­ably prac­ti­cal. This leg­is­la­tion was passed to en­sure that those smaller com­mu­ni­ties that have a signi cant de­pen­dence on Coun­cil em­ploy­ment for their sus­tain­abil­ity would not be com­pro­mised by the amal­ga­ma­tion. Be in no doubt, this Coun­cil is hon­our­ing and will con­tinue to hon­our that obli­ga­tion. Fi­nally, I had the plea­sure and priv­i­lege ear­lier this month of con­duct­ing the cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony for 10 newly minted Aus­tralian cit­i­zens. They in­cluded doc­tors, lawyers and chefs, and came from ar­eas as di­verse as South Africa, Canada and Nepal. Their ex­cite­ment and plea­sure in be­com­ing full cit­i­zens of Aus­tralia was a joy to be­hold!

Best wishes, Chris Bilkey

Mayor, Mur­ray River Coun­cil

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