Mayor’s plan for unity
Federation Council’s Mayor Pat Bourke says he is committed to getting confidence from the community and determined to make the new council work.
Cr Bourke will organise bus trips with his fellow councillors to towns within the council area to discuss with residents their needs and desires as councillors settle into their new role.
The trips are also designed to allow some bonding time among the nine new councillors who had their first monthly meeting on September 26.
“I want the council to engage the community,” Cr Bourke told the Free Press.
“We will get together on a bus trip and start getting out and getting involved with the community.
“It’s important to learn about what is going on and what is important to residents.
“Initially it will be trips out to communities and have some social gatherings and get some confidence in them and us and go from there.”
Cr Bourke said the visits would be advertised when they have been planned.
Before the council merger, Cr Bourke was Urana Shire Mayor for three years after being deputy mayor during his eight-year councillor term on Urana Shire Council.
Cr Bourke said he was ‘absolutely thrilled’ with his new appointment and was happy he could share the moment with many family members and friends who had sat in on the history making council meeting.
“I turned around to my parents down in the back corner and I saw a tear run down my father’s cheek – I had made him proud,” he said.
Cr Bourke said it was also a win for the former Urana Shire community which was, during the election, unsure about how well represented the town would be after the merger with Corowa.
“It has given Urana confidence, there are certainly a lot of residents coming forward with that, but not only the Urana Shire, I believe it will bring the merger together,” he said.
“We are just determined to make it work for everyone and be very inclusive and that’s the key factor, we can’t leave anyone out.”
One of the first calls of business was for council to decide who would represent council and accompany school students and chaperones from Corowa and Oaklands on a trip to Japan this week.
The trip is an on-going cultural exchange program with council’s sister City in Japan ‘Miki City’.
Cr Bourke explained his absence of a passport left him out of the running.
It was decided that Cr Gail Law, who was already going as a chaperone, will represent council.
Council’s next monthly meeting will be October 17 and councillors are still to decide on future meeting dates, times and location.
Scaring up a storm were participants in the Best Dressed Living Scarecrow contest at Pfeiffer Wines. Picture: Paul Blake.
Federation Council’s Mayor Pat Bourke is looking forward to leading the new council.