Never Never Ward Councillor Judy MacFarlane has become Roper Gulf Regional Council’s second Mayor after being voted into the role today.
Mayor MacFarlane was announced as Mataranka’s citizen of the year at this year’s Australia Day ceremony.
Tony Jack was the previous Roper Gulf Mayor while Cr MacFarlane was the deputy mayor.
The new council sat for the first time following the August 26 NT Local Government election, with its inaugural order of business to appoint a Mayor and Deputy Mayor to lead the cohort of 13 councillors for the next four years.
After a secret ballot, the council resolved to make Mayor MacFarlane its Principal Member and Nyirranggulung councillor Helen Lee its Deputy Mayor.
Mayor MacFarlane said her focus would be on ensuring each community under the Council’s jurisdiction received a “fair share” of funding and infrastructure development.
“It is an absolute honour to be elected Mayor of Roper Gulf Regional Council, and I thank my fellow elected members for putting their trust in me to lead this new team,” she said.
“One of my priorities is to make sure each community gets a fair share of the money being invested in the region by council and Government, which will provide the infrastructure needed for them to grow and prosper.”
Chief executive officer Michael Berto welcomed the new council and congratulated Elected Members on being successful in their bids to represent the 7100 residents of the 186,000 square kilometre municipality.
“I congratulate all 13 councillors on their election success, and believe they will provide experience and insight that will assist Council in achieving its strategic goals,” he said.
“Our new council is a strong mix of old and new faces who have committed to being the voice of their communities and Wards until 2021.
“I’m looking forward to a continuation of the strong collaboration between Councillors and the senior leadership team that will allow the Council to deliver a sustainable, viable and vibrant Roper Gulf region for residents and ratepayers.”
As part of the council’s commitment to robust governance and accountability, Elected Members took part in a comprehensive induction day before the ordinary meeting of council which outlined the function of Local Government, their legislative obligations and what role they will play in working with staff to provide services and programs to one of the most diverse parts of the NT.