NEW PRIORITIES: The Central Highlands Regional Council has its work cut out for it.
NEW PRIORITIES: The Central Highlands Regional Council has its work cut out for it.

Council’s priorities for the new term

CENTRAL Highlands Regional Council councillors will be inducted this Wednesday.

Both the new and the incumbent said the council’s immediate mandate in the new term was to protect the economy from inroads by the coronavirus.

But those elected for the first time said they had some catching up to do before getting to work.

Janice Moriarty said her priority was “to form an effective team of councillors and understand the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on all communities in the region”, and Joseph Burns said the council’s “got some organising to do”.

“We have a lot to look at when we get in there,” he said.

Natalie Curtis had the same feeling. “I’m looking forward to the new challenges,” she said, “but I need to get my head around where the situation is at the moment.”

Anne Carpenter wanted to dive “straight into the budget”.

Returning councillors said the administration has its work cut out for it.

Megan Daniels said her focus would be on “economic development, liveability and the environment, along with representing all Central Highlands communities in the council chambers”.

Christine Rolfe added that “One of the first things in the new term will be making sure that councillors have all their IT connectivity.”

It was particularly important at the moment, she said, “to be connected at all times”.

Gai Sypher said: “We have to be careful about the decisions we make in order that our region can remain economically viable.

“It’s not going to be a cruisy ride.”

Charlie Brimblecombe’s main concern was on balancing the budget, which was “not going to be easy, especially with what’s happening.”

Mayor Kerry Hayes earlier said the council’s priorities had been “taken out of my hands. “Health comes before anything else,” he said.


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