7 May 2020

Bega Valley Shire Council elects new Mayor

| Dominic Giannini
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Sharon Tapscott

New Bega Valley Shire Mayor Sharon Tapscott. Photo: Supplied.

Councillor Sharon Tapscott has been elected as the new Mayor of the Bega Valley Shire in an extraordinary general meeting held yesterday (Wednesday, 6 May).

The former Deputy Mayor became the stand-in Mayor after Kristy McBain resigned her position last week to contest the federal seat of Eden-Monaro, and will now hold the position until the Shire’s Mayoral elections in September this year.

Cr Russell Fitzpatrick was elected as the new Deputy Mayor unopposed, while Cr Robyn Bain also contested the Mayoral ballot but was ultimately unsuccessful.

Mayor Tapscott says she wants to see the Bega Valley recover strongly from the recent bushfires that tore through the region and outlined the role of all levels of government in making sure the recovery process continues.

“The last four months have seen an extraordinary upheaval in our community,” she said.

“Council has a major role in contributing to and leading our recovery. It is my desire to see recovery and council’s strategies be community lead.

“But we also need to look outside our shire to understand what is going on around us and what will affect our future. It is important that we are part of the conversation and have a seat at the table.”

Cr Fitzpatrick said the Council would draw upon the experience and expertise of the community to aid in the recovery effort.

“We need to address the economic pressures we face quickly, drawing on all the connections and expertise we have,” he said.

“I am happy to take on this role and help work this out.”

Cr Tapscott was elected to Council in 2012 and Cr Fitzpatrick was elected in 2009.

The BVSC is made up of nine Councillors who are elected for a four year fixed term. Seven of the Councillors are independents, while one – Cathy Griff – is part of the Greens. Mayor Kristy McBain, who was previously unaligned, is now running in the Federal seat of Eden-Monaro as a Labor candidate.

Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected directed by Councillors every two-years and one year in September respectively. A nomination had to be moved and then seconded for a candidate to be eligible.

There will be another Mayoral election in September this year before a full local government election will be held in September 2021.

Cr McBain will remain as a Councillor.

The meeting to elect a new mayor was live-streamed on the Council’s website.

The Councils next ordinary meeting is scheduled for 20 May.

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