AFTER three consecutive years of leadership, it came as little surprise that Mayor Gary Rush and deputy mayor Ian North were re-elected unopposed at Wednesday night’s election.
Cr Rush said he felt “tremendous” to be given another opportunity to serve Bathurst as its mayor.
“It is great to know that you have the confidence of your councillor colleagues as we head into an unprecedented fifth year,” he said.
Elected councillors normally remain together for a period of four years, however with the proposed amalgamation between Bathurst and Oberon councils, the two towns did not go to election with the rest of the state on September 10.
Cr North said knowing that council is moving into uncertain territory, this was the result he had hoped for.
He said the councillors realise a lot has been achieved under Cr Rush’s leadership, with support from himself, and it made sense to leave the positions unchanged.
“Look at the end result, look at how we went in 2015 with the bicentenary, look how we’ve seen the city grow and improve, and a large part of that is the leadership of Gary, and I think I could put a fair bit of that, being a support of Gary in that time,” he said.
“I guess when the new election comes around we don’t know what the mix up will be, so while we know what’s going on, i.e. the current group of eight, let’s keep it going as much as we can,” he said.
Looking to the future, Cr Rush said council is embarking upon a record budget of $210 million this financial year and has a lot to achieve.
Progressing the Velocity Park project for Mount Panorama is the top priority, he said, while council is also committed to its strategy to boost Bathurst’s visitor economy and local economy, as well as continuing to support local businesses and create infrastructure to accommodate the city’s growth.
Due to the proposed amalgamation, it is unknown at this stage whether Cr Rush and Cr North will serve in their positions for the full 12 months.
It is great to know that you have the confidence of your councillor colleagues.