I am honored to have the privilege of being elected as Mayor of Swan Hill Rural City Council and I am looking forward to continuing to serve the municipality and our community.
I extend my thanks to my fellow Councillors for their support and I am committed to continuing the good work of this Council, during my mayoral term.
There is a lot happening in our municipality and the broader region right now and I am excited to see the commencement, continuation, and completion of various Council projects.
Projects such as the Robinvale Leisure Centre Expansion and the Swan Hill Tourism and Cultural Hub, as well as other related developments like the Swan Hill Hospital Emergency Department and the commencement of the VHM Goschen Mine.
With my background in agriculture, engineering, and business I intend to work closely with the CEO and Directors to ensure we are focused on improving our core infrastructure such as roads and drainage right across our municipality, as well as stimulating increased investment and development opportunities.
I am keen to continue sharing the message that the Swan Hill municipality is open for business, and we are willing to help.
I will advocate strongly to higher levels of Government for our fair share of funding and on policy issues such as water and its impact on established businesses in our region.
I look forward to working with the community and I thank you for your support.
Where were you born? Swan Hill
How long have you lived in the municipality? 45 of my 53 years. I spent 8 years in Melbourne following High School – 4 years studying and 4 years working.
What was your first career? Other than working on the family farm at Gowanford my first “job” was collecting trolleys at the old Woollies supermarket! My first career was as a Graduate Engineer with CSR Readymix at the Oaklands Junction Quarry just north of Melbourne Airport.
What is your favourite local food and why? I’m a little bit reluctant to answer that question because we are very fortunate in Swan Hill to have so many great restaurants and cuisine choices! How do I choose between the Red Curry Duck at Java Spice, a Chicken Teriyaki Bibimbap at Niko Niko, or one of Johnny Quo’s pizzas! However, my favourite would be the Pork Belly at the Beverford Tavern – Marty is an absolute culinary wizard! I am equally grateful for my brother-in-law Rod’s eye fillet, and my wife Ange’s cooking in general, especially any of the desserts she creates.
What is something interesting about yourself that people may not know? Hmmm…that’s a difficult one! I’ve swum across the Yarra River. I played bass guitar with a Uni band in the Melbourne Town Hall. I’ve done a missions trip to Uganda. I was at the 2019 World Cup Cricket Final at Lords. I’m a die hard Richmond fan and was at the 2019 AFL Grand Final. I am an Aussie Rock music tragic and 2x Mundi Mundi Bash veteran.
What is one thing that you have achieved, or are most proud of, during your time on Council? Being on Council is a team effort and outcomes are only possible by building good relationships with other Councillors and the Council Staff rather than individually. I am, however, proud of initiating the process for Council to have a strategic vision towards 2050. What we do now impacts the future. We cannot change the past, but I believe we can make better decisions in the present if we have a strategic plan for the future.
What has been your biggest challenge, or has surprised you the most? Government bureaucracy, and in particular State Government control of Local Government, is a massive challenge. There are some things we do, or are supposed to do, not because our community is requesting or demanding it, but because we have to because the State Government says so!
Understanding how we are funded as a municipality came as a surprise – with only half our revenue coming from rates – and understanding all of the conditions that come with grant funding.
In one word, describe yourself. Visionary.