Shire shakeup: new faces and president

Shire shakeup: new faces and president

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Councillors Bill Denholm and Keira McConkey, deputy shire president Dave Atwell, councillors Rob Coales and Morgan Byas and shire president Michelle Rich at the swearing in ceremony on Monday. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Following the Local Government election on Saturday four new councillors have been elected to the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.

Rob Coales, Morgan Byas, Keira McConkey and Bill Denholm were sworn in at a special council meeting at the shire’s civic centre in Mundijong.

On October 23, Justice of the Peace Athol Wigg presided over the swearing in ceremony.

Former councillor Michelle Rich was elected as the new shire president with Dave Atwell as deputy.

Ms Rich said she was excited, honoured and humbled to be elected to the position of shire president.

“The community has mandated that they want change which was reflected in the rise of voter turnout at this election and the candidates elected by the community,” she said.

“As a new council we need to be united and inclusive in working towards the goals of our community.”

Ms Rich said the council needed to communicate openly and truthfully with the community.

“We need to show strong and balanced leadership for the development of the fastest growing local government area in Australia,” she said.

“Serpentine Jarrahdale’s future can only grow brighter and with council, shire and the community all working together we can make anything happen.”

The returned voting rate is generally low for local government elections, with an average of approximately just 27 per cent across the state but she shire’s returned voting rate for 2017 was 30.7 per cent, which shows an increase on numbers from 23 per cent in 2015 and 22.5 per cent in 2013.

Elected to the northward Mr Coales said he looked forward to making the community an even better place to live in.

North west ward councillor Mr Byas said the future was bright and he looked forward to building a community which he could be proud to pass on to the next generation and south ward councillor Ms McConkey said she was excited to make a valuable contribution to the lives of other in the community by working with the council and shire.

Serpentine Jarrahdale Ratepayers Association member Alan Clarkson said the election results were a new start for the shire.

“I was amazed at the elation of the gallery,” he said.

“The whole thing was a unique outcome and we’re looking forward to better days which isn’t being run by factions.”