Busy council year kicks off

IT was a busy night at Macedon Ranges Shire council last Wednesday night, November 22, with a special meeting to elect councillors and the ordinary meeting for general council business to follow.

West Ward Councillor Jennifer Anderson was re-elected Mayor with councillors again deciding not to appoint a deputy mayor.

Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson, said she was honoured to be re-elected, and thanked her fellow Councillors for their support.

“This is a great council, with councillors who are committed to working together as a team. “I’m thankful they trust me to be the mayor again for another year,” Cr Anderson said.
“It’s been a very busy first term as mayor, with the new council getting out into the community and talking to residents, consulting on the council plan and implementing our first budget. I am proud of what we’ve achieved in the last twelve months and we’re looking forward to building upon that, and continuing to work closely with the community,” she said.

This is Cr Anderson’s third term as mayor. She previously served as mayor in 2014 and 2016.

In other business conducted during the two meetings, council noted two reports about mayoral and councillor allowances and the councillor code of conduct, and endorsed the councillor support policy.

Councillor allowances were set at $83,790 for the mayoral allowance and $27,079 for councillors.

The Hanging Rock Strategy Advisory Committee minutes from its October meeting were received and noted.

Councillor delegates for various internal advisory committees and external committees/organisations were appointed for the 2017/18 council year.
Two grant applications were endorsed for funding as part of council’s Small Community Grant Scheme: Macedon Pony Club received $1,364 and Romsey and Lancefield Districts Historical Society received $1,500. Details are in the story on page 2.
Nine tender contracts were endorsed to be awarded by council officers under delegated authority.

Council adopted its related party disclosures policy.

An updated financial reserves policy was adopted with an amendment requesting officers to investigate how further funding could be directed towards new walking, cycling and transport service facilities.

An item of urgent and other business was discussed directing that officers seek urgent advice from the Minister for Planning regarding the potential application of a blanket interim heritage overlay to the significant heritage assets across the Macedon Ranges Shire.