Murray Emerson to continue as Mayor

Published on 24 November 2015

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Councillor Murray Emerson has been sworn in as Mayor of the Northern Grampians Shire Council, continuing on after his first 12 months in the role.

Mayor Emerson was formally elected by the Council at a statutory meeting in Stawell last night and said it was an honour to be reinstated by his peers.

“I feel very privileged to have been re elected by my fellow Councillors and am looking forward to leading this Council in the final year of this four year term,” Cr Emerson said.

“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us but I’m confident that through continued teamwork and mutual respect we’ll be able to achieve what we’ve set out to,” he said.

Cr Emerson said the major focus for Council in its fourth year would be to secure a better funding deal for regional municipalities.

“Our 3, 16, 81 campaign will continue to be a priority. Local Government is getting a raw deal and we have to change that if we’re going to continue to provide the level of service that our residents expect and deserve.

“We’ll continue to lobby state and federal politicians for a fair go. With rate capping on its way, we owe it to the residents of the Northern Grampians to give this our very best and we hope that this Council will leave a good outcome in this important fight as its legacy,” he said.

Cr Emerson said Council also had a lot of exciting work to look forward to.

“The Grampians Peaks Trail and Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory continue to be a couple of the most exciting projects this Council has had the privilege of working on and we’re excited to see them really come into their own over the next 12 months,” he said.

“Tourism will be a big focus as we continue our work with Grampians Tourism not only on the Peaks Trail, but on developing Halls Gap as a food and wine destination, and building St Arnaud into a regional arts hub.

“We’re also looking forward to continuing the work we’ve been doing on business investment and attraction, particularly around renewable energy and hydroponics. We have some excellent opportunities in that space and we hope to bring a lot of that to fruition in this final year.

“Of course we do have a number of other challenges to face including finding a suitable fix for the Stawell tyre pile and helping our primary producers through the ongoing dry seasonal conditions.

“This Council has achieved a great deal so far - securing $3.5m funding for the physics lab, completing the Halls Gap Tourism and Community Hub, launching the St Arnaud Street Museum, and building a vibrant Youth Action Council, “ Cr Emerson said.

Cr Emerson was first elected to Council in October 2012. This will be his second term as Mayor of the Northern Grampians Shire.

The terms of all current Victorian Councillors will expire in October 2016. Council elections will take place across the state on Saturday 22 October, 2016.