New Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Surf Coast Shire Council

Published on 19 November 2020

Libby Stapleton WEB CROP

Surf Coast Shire Councillors elected Cr Libby Stapleton to the position of Mayor at a special meeting of the council last night. Cr Liz Pattison was elected to the position of Deputy Mayor.

In her acceptance speech, Cr Stapleton singled out COVID recovery as a key priority for the new Council. She also acknowledged the environment was a critical issue for the community.

“I expect the environment will be a key focus on our agenda . . . but, more immediately, supporting our local business, community organisations, residents and visitors, in the COVID recovery must be a priority,” Cr Stapleton said.

“Our approach as we commence this term of Council will be to bring people together to engage, to really listen and to understand each other and our community’s needs.

“During my campaign, it became clear to me that the community wants a positive, proactive and collaborative Council that can get on with the job of leading, to create the kind of place in which we all want to live. 

In her acceptance speech Cr Stapleton acknowledged the skills and experience of her fellow Councillors.

“When I look around at the Councillors who will be representing our community for the next four years, I am inspired by the expertise this Council will bring to the table,” she said.

Cr Liz Pattison said she was excited to be given the opportunity to represent her fellow Councillors and the community.

“The Surf Coast Shire is a wonderful place to live and my approach will be to work collaboratively and respectfully to achieve the best for our community,” said Cr Pattison.

“I feel that a key role as deputy is to support the Mayor in fulfilling their role to the best that they can. I see myself as well placed to provide that support to Mayor Stapleton.

“As deputy Mayor, I will represent you in a considered, enthusiastic and respectful way. A way that reflects our shared values,” she said.

Verbatim speeches follow:

Cr Libby Stapleton – Mayor acceptance speech (delivered 18 November 2020)

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar people, and pay our respects to elders past and present.

To my fellow Councillors, thank you so much for your support in voting tonight for me to be your Mayor. It will be an honour to represent our community, with you beside me.

I’d like to acknowledge Cr Wellington who also nominated for the position, and thank her for the commitment she has already made to support me in this role. 

Cr Wellington brings an enormous amount of experience and skill to our Council, and has demonstrated how committed she is to our community.  I know this will be of great value to our team.

Thank you also to the executive team who this week have worked so hard to help us settle in to our new roles.

The election of seven new councillors to the Surf Coast Shire is an indication that our community is looking for change.  It is such an exciting time for us all.

This is a new council, and we have an opportunity to set a new way forward, with a new agenda, a new team … and, now, a new leader.

Building good relationships with each other, with the council officers, and with the community will be the foundation of our success.

My focus in the first term of Council will be to bring people together to engage, to really listen and to understand each other and our community’s needs.

During my campaign, it became clear to me that the community wants a positive, proactive and collaborative Council that can get on with the job of leading, to create the kind of place in which we all want to live. 

If you want to draw any conclusions from the way people voted, I would point to the fact that Cr Gazzard, as a Green’s candidate, received the most votes of anyone in the Shire.  I know others on our team also led campaigns with a strong environmental focus.

This tells us that climate change is a key concern for our community, and Council voting for the climate emergency last year was the first step in taking action to mitigate this.

I expect this will be a key focus on our agenda ... but more immediately, supporting our local business, community organisations, residents and visitors, in the COVID recovery must be a priority.

When I look around at the Councillors who will be representing our community for the next four years, I am inspired by the expertise this Council will bring to the table. 

As a group, we offer such great diversity, energy and experience, from backgrounds including health, law, engineering, data, education, architecture, defence, finance, transport, communications, marketing, environment and, of course, local government. 

This week, we as Councillors have started to gain greater insight into the scope of work currently being undertaken by our Council officers.

I look forward to building positive and productive relationships with fellow Councillors and the Council staff to help achieve the organisation’s vision, to help our community and environment to thrive.

We are all committed to serving our community.  I know we all love where we live, and we want to reflect that in the decisions we make as a Council.

We will work together to come up with a shared vision that we can take to our community and rebuild their pride in the Surf Coast Shire Council.

Cr Liz Pattison – Deputy Mayor – acceptance speech (delivered 18 November 2020)

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that I am residing, the Wadawurrung people, and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.

Thank you to my fellow councillors for your support in voting me in as Deputy Mayor tonight. I am excited about the opportunity to represent you and our community in the Surf Coast Shire. It is a wonderful place to live.

I am looking forward to working collaboratively and respectfully with my fellow councillors. In particularly with Cr Wellington and Cr Hodge to get the benefit of their years of experience in local government.

To achieve great outcomes for our community, it is essential that we work together respecting not just the letter of the decisions, but also the spirit with which we make them.

I feel that a key role as deputy is to support the Mayor in fulfilling their role to the best that they can. I see myself as well placed to provide that support to Mayor Stapleton.

As deputy mayor, I will represent you in a considered, enthusiastic and respectful way. A way that reflects our shared values.

 

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