New MRC coun­cil­lors are ready to get down to work

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Tyla Har­ring­ton

THREE for­mer Mur­ray Shire coun­cil­lors and three new­com­ers have won the Moama and Greater Mur­ray ward elec­tion for the new Mur­ray River Coun­cil.

The Moama ward will be rep­re­sented by Ni­cole Co­hen, Chris Bilkey and Gen Camp­bell, while Ge­off Wise, Tom Weyrich and Tony Aquino are the Greater Mur­ray ward coun­cil­lors.

The Greater Wakool ward was won by Neil Gorey, Alan Mathers and Ann Crowe.

Now that’s all been said and won, the ques­tion is who will stand for the top job?

For­mer Mur­ray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich is one per­son who in­tends to.

‘‘I am def­i­nitely ready to make it right,’’ he said.

‘‘I al­ways said from the out­set I did noth­ing wrong in Mur­ray Shire. I feel vin­di­cated.’’

The woman who polled the most in the Moama ward, Nikki Co­hen, said she was ‘‘hum­bled’’ by the sup­port.

‘‘I feel re­ally hum­bled to have been elected and cer­tainly did not ex­pect such a high per­cent­age of the vote,’’ she said.

‘‘But the com­mu­nity has placed their faith and trust in me to do a job and I will cer­tainly do all that I can to not let them down — let the work be­gin.’’

Mrs Co­hen said she would not put her hand up for the may­oral po­si­tion.

Mean­while, for­mer Mur­ray Shire coun­cil­lor Chris Bilkey said he wasn’t sure whether he would stand for the may­oral po­si­tion.

He said he was elected with ‘‘trep­i­da­tion’’ on Wed­nes­day be­cause the suc­cess of this coun­cil was de­pen­dent on the ‘‘level of good will’’ of the coun­cil­lors.

New­comer Tony Aquino said he was look­ing for­ward to be­ing on the new coun­cil but said he would not be stand­ing for mayor.

He said coun­cil­lors needed to leave ‘‘the bull­shit’’ at the front door so there wasn’t a re­peat of what hap­pened in Mur­ray Shire.

For­mer Mur­ray Shire coun­cil­lor Gen Camp­bell said she would not be stand­ing for the may­oral po­si­tion but she looked for­ward to be­ing on the new coun­cil.

Cr Gorey said while he felt it was too early to have any pre­con­ceived ideas about the lead­er­ship, he would be pre­pared to stand if sup­ported.

‘‘It is a demo­cratic process and any of the nine coun­cil­lors can put their hand up for mayor or deputy mayor,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a de­ci­sion that has to made in an open dis­cus­sion with the other coun­cil­lors.’’

The first meet­ing of the newly elected coun­cil is Tues­day, Septem­ber 26 at the Mathoura Visi­tor In­for­ma­tion and Busi­ness Cen­tre’s multi func­tion room on the Cobb Hwy from 1pm where the mayor is ex­pected to be elected.

The first item of busi­ness will be the af­fir­ma­tion of the coun­cil­lors.

Photo: LUKE HEMER

ELECTED: In­au­gu­ral Mur­ray River Coun­cil coun­cil­lors are, from left, Tom Weyrich, Ge­off Wise, Chris Bilkey and Ni­cole Co­hen.

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