THE Macedon Ranges Shire Council last night elected returning councillor Roger Jukes as mayor.
Newcomer Councillor Russell Mowatt was also sworn in as deputy mayor.
Five new faces took an oath for the first time to assume their position on the council, including Graham Hackett, Jennifer Anderson, John Connor, Russell Mowatt and Sally Piper across three wards.
They were joined by Joe Morabito, Henry McLaughlin, John Letchford and Cr Jukes from the previous council.
Livestock agency owner Ian Madison was sworn in a the Shire of Campaspe’s new mayor at a statutory meeting on Monday night alongside returning councillor and new deputy mayor, Greg Toll.
Cr Madison, who served on council from 2005 to 2008, said he felt humbled to take the chair.
He likened the shire to a vessel, saying “we’ve inherited a great ship, in great shape”.
Communication and collaboration were first on the new mayor’s agenda, with focus on rural industry.
“There’s no doubt there is a perception of a void between council and the community it serves,” Cr Madison said.
“We must find a way to communicate and engage with the community; to get the message out about what is being achieved and where we are as a shire – on the road to delivering the services that they require to maintain their community.”
Cr Toll said the new-look council brought together a diverse group of people and ideas.
Eight councillors in total were sworn in, including Cr Madison, Emma Bradbury and Paul Jarman representing the Echuca ward, Carol Howell and Neil Pankhurst from the Kyabram-Deakin ward, Leigh Wilson from Rochester ward, Adrian Weston from Waranga ward and Cr Toll from Western ward.
Re-elected councillor Robert Danieli was unavailable to take the oath and will be sworn in later this week.