New mayor wants to maintain Southern Grampians Shire’s high standards

ALBERT Calvano has pledged an open-door policy after being elected mayor of the Southern Grampians Shire.

Cr Calvano has been a councillor since 2008 and previously attended many council meetings as a citizen.

He is actively involved in a wide range of community pursuits and well known for his musical performances in dance bands, as well as running the Hospital Shop Milk Bar in Hamilton.

Prior to moving to Hamilton, he worked in electrical engineering for the Public Transport Corporation.

Cr Calvano said he looked forward to working with the community and ensuring a foundation of good governance was continued in council.

“My door is always open and I encourage residents to speak to me directly about any issues or concerns that they may have,” Cr Calvano said.

“I look forward to working hard to ensure that the Southern Grampians Shire continues to be one of the best councils in Victoria and that our shire continues to be the best place to live.”

The council decided not to elect a deputy mayor for 2012-2013.

In other local government mayoral elections, Cr Lyn Russell was elected mayor of Colac Otway Shire for the next two years.

Former mayor Cr Stephen Hart will serve as her deputy. Cr Russell was previously mayor in 2010 and will again step down from her job as a Cobden community health nurse for Timboon and District Healthcare to take on the mayoral role.

“Having this continuity in place will enable me to resign from my role at Cobden to concentrate fully on the mayoral role,” she said.

Cr Russell will lead the council’s advocacy efforts for the 2013 federal election and 2014 state election.

The shire’s chief executive officer Rob Small said Cr Russell’s advocacy during her 2010 mayoral term helped secure unprecedented funding, including for the duplication of the Princes Highway between Winchelsea and Colac.

Cr Russell said Colac Otway Shire was part of the most marginal federal electorate in the country and a strategic approach to lobbying was required.

She said a bypass around Colac was among the complex decisions facing the shire.

“We need to decide early in our term where the bypass around Colac should be located so we can shift our focus onto lobbying for funding for this major infrastructure project,” Cr Russell said.

“The latest defined benefits superannuation call will be a big hit on our finances and the council must determine how to manage this impost.

“Other big projects include the completion of the Apollo Bay Harbour master plan project, the Colac High School master plan, Colac central business district and entrances project and finding a resolution to the waste management issues in Wye River and Separation Creek,” she said.

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