New team ready for business

THE Derwent Valley’s new council gets down to business on Thursday next week after its new and old members were sworn in, and received briefings on their duties.

This follows October’s elections that saw Michelle Dracoulis returned as Mayor, a new deputy mayor in Luke Browning, and three new faces. Council now includes Phillip Bingley, Peter Binny, Matthew Hill, Justin Derksen and Jessica Cosgrove. Incoming councillor Sara Lowe was on leave and was sworn in separately.

About 60 people – mostly families, friends and supporters – watched the swearing-in at the Council Chambers in New Norfolk, which began with an Aboriginal welcome to country and smoking ceremony. In a short speech Mrs Dracoulis welcomed the new faces to Council and said she was confident their passion, skills and experience would be invaluable.

Identifying housing, energy, accessible health services and affordable food as core concerns, the Mayor signaled a commitment to deal with larger issues via advocacy and through working with other levels of government. She reminded councillors of their duty to make decisions “that are for the greater good…”

She said: “Our priorities… must align with principles of sustainability, both financial and environmental.” Ahead of next week’s Council meeting, an induction session was held for for councillors that covered conflict management, communications and rules of local government.