Media Release: New Council gets right down to business in appointing Mayor

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NEW LEADERSHIP: Roper Gulf Regional Council Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto and Manager Governance and Corporate Planning Amanda Haigh help newly-elected Mayor Judy MacFarlane with her robes after she was appointed to the role on September 14.

NEW LEADERSHIP: Roper Gulf Regional Council Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto and Manager Governance and Corporate Planning Amanda Haigh help newly-elected Mayor Judy MacFarlane with her robes after she was appointed to the role on September 14.

Never Never Ward Councillor Judy MacFarlane has become Roper Gulf Regional Council’s second Mayor after being voted into the role by fellow Elected Members on September 14.

The new Council sat for the first time on Thursday following the August 26 Northern Territory Local Government election, with its inaugural order of business to appoint a Mayor and Deputy Mayor to lead the cohort of 13 Councillors for the next four years.

After a secret ballot, the Council resolved to make Mayor MacFarlane its Principal Member and Nyirranggulung Councillor Helen Lee its Deputy Mayor.

The appointments were made in accordance with section 45 (1) of the Local Government Act.

After a swearing in ceremony, the third Roper Gulf Regional Council sits for a formal photo with Executive staff during the first Ordinary Meeting of Council in Katherine.

After a swearing in ceremony, the third Roper Gulf Regional Council sits for a formal photo with Executive staff during the first Ordinary Meeting of Council in Katherine.

Mayor MacFarlane said her focus would be on ensuring each community under the Council’s jurisdiction received a “fair share” of funding and infrastructure development.

“It is an absolute honour to be elected Mayor of Roper Gulf Regional Council, and I thank my fellow Elected Members for putting their trust in me to lead this new team,” she said.

“One of my priorities is to make sure each community gets a fair share of the money being invested in the region by Council and Government, which will provide the infrastructure needed for them to grow and prosper.”

Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto welcomed the new Council and congratulated Elected Members on being successful in their bids to represent the 7100 residents of the 186,000 square kilometre Local Government Area.

“I congratulate all 13 Councillors on their election success, and believe they will provide experience and insight that will assist Council in achieving its strategic goals,” he said.

“Our new Council is a strong mix of old and new faces who have committed to being the voice of their communities and Wards until 2021.

“I’m looking forward to a continuation of the strong collaboration between Councillors and the senior leadership team that will allow the Council to deliver a sustainable, viable and vibrant Roper Gulf region for residents and ratepayers.”

As part of the Council’s commitment to robust governance and accountability, Elected Members took part in a comprehensive induction day prior to the Ordinary Meeting of Council which outlined the function of Local Government, their legislative obligations and what role they will play in working with staff to provide services and programs to one of the most diverse parts of the NT.

View the full Media Release here.