BOBBY Bourke has been elected the new mayor of Bathurst Regional Council following a fiercely fought campaign.
Cr Bourke defeated Cr Jess Jennings in a two-horse race for the top job on Wednesday night with the support of councillors Ian North, Warren Aubin, Alex Christian and outgoing mayor Graeme Hanger.
Cr Ian North was elected to his ninth term as deputy mayor with the same five votes.
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Cr Bourke said he was honoured to be given the chance to lead the council for the next 12 months.
"It was an honour to have the community elect me to council for the past 16 years and it's an honour to now have the chance to lead," he said.
"I'm only here for 12 months so I'm not expecting miracles but I will be working to make this a better council."
Cr Bourke said he wanted to see all councillors working hard for the community and he wanted to utilise all their individual strengths.
We have 32 years of experience on council between Cr Bourke and myself and there's a lot of knowledge between us.Deputy mayor Ian North
He acknowledged it had been a "bloody" mayoral vote but he wanted to put divisions within the council behind him.
"This has been very hard for me and Graeme," he said.
"Graeme is a mate of mine and I've always supported him since he came onto council, first as deputy mayor and then as mayor.
"But I thank him for his support tonight and I will look to his guidance over the next 12 months."
Cr North said he hoped the council could come together after a difficult campaign for the mayoralty.
"We have 32 years of experience on council between Cr Bourke and myself and there's a lot of knowledge between us," he said.
"We all need to work together on some of the big issues for this council such as water security, council's communication with the public and our infrastructure.
"And we also have to work closer with the local indigenous community."
Cr North said supporting the struggling retail sector would also be a priority.