HEPBURN Shire’s new-look council will strive to achieve better value for ratepayers’ money, with more community consultation.
Three new councillors have joined the fold, including businessman Pierre Niclas and former Melbourne City councillor Kate Redwood in the Birch ward.
They are joined by organic farmer Greg May in the Creswick ward.
Familiar faces returning for another term are Sebastian Klein, Bill McClenaghan, Don Henderson and Neil Newitt, while Daylesford general practitioner Jon Barrell failed to win back his seat.
Current mayor Sebastian Klein said early discussions of the new council had focused on a desire to attain better value for ratepayers’ money and more community consultation.
Meanwhile, the council’s three new members said they were looking forward to representing their wards.
Already, the Daylesford Streetscape Strategy, rates and transparency look to be hot topics in the Birch ward.
Cr Redwood said she would seek to overturn the Daylesford Streetscape Strategy, achieve funding and construction for a sports and recreation facility at Victoria Park, and solve the long-term issue of access to hydrotherapy in Daylesford.
Cr Niclas called for a return to a focus on local issues – with outcomes and projects that would benefit locals as well as visitors to the area.
“I’d like to achieve absolute maximum value for money for rates,” he said.
“In this particular shire that’s what has been missing for a long time.”
Cr May, an organic vegetable grower and wine grape producer from Blampied, said he hoped to see the new council work cohesively.
“I haven’t got any real barrows to push – I hope I can be a good representative for the people of Creswick ward,” he said.
“A good number of people who voted for me was on the basis that I have a rural background and am aware of the issues facing the farming sector.”
The most successful candidate in the shire was Creswick ward representative Don Henderson, who won 40 per cent of the vote.
Cr Henderson said his primary focus was to get the shire’s roads, rates and rubbish sorted out.
But Cr Henderson said he was disappointed to see only one woman elected to the council.
“To get one woman out of seven isn’t the ideal situation,” he said.
“I’ll be working towards getting better representation for women over the next four years.”