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Southern Downs Mayor and Deputy Mayor appointed

15 April 2020 

The new look Southern Downs Regional Councillors met today for their first Council Meeting to determine the new Deputy Mayor and discuss issues surrounding the transparency of future meetings.

Southern Downs Regional Council includes Mayor Vic Pennisi, and Councillors Ross Bartley, Cameron Gow, Jo McNally, Andrew Gale, Sheryl Windle, Marco Gliori, Cynthia McDonald, and Stephen Tancred.

Council Chief Executive Officer David Keenan congratulated the new Councillors on being chosen by the community to represent them throughout the next four years.

“On behalf of all staff, I would like to congratulate all Councillors on their successful election to Council for the 2020 term,” Mr Keenan said.

“We welcome back Councillors Cameron Gow, Jo McNally, Sheryl Windle and look forward to getting to know our new Councillors Ross Bartley, Andrew Gale, Marco Gliori, Cynthia McDonald, and Stephen Tancred.”

Newly elected Mayor Vic Pennisi began the meeting by welcoming those present physically and digitally.

“This is a new beginning. A fresh start for the region and for all relationships. My door is open to all in our community and I am keen to hear from you and keen to understand what your frustrations are? When we are again allowed to safely do so, come and meet me and my fellow councillors face to face so we can work together on mature solutions. In the interim, send me an email or pick up the phone or we can arrange an internet video teleconference,” said Mayor Pennisi

“The COVID19 Crisis we find ourselves in will be a challenging time for all of us. The authorities ask that we stay in the state, stay in the region, stay in your suburb, stay at home.  Leave your home only for food, medical and essential travel. We must be strong and together we will succeed.

“I am under no illusion the road ahead will be a little rocky. Together we will overcome any obstacles and rebuild our communities. What we have faced in recent times has demonstrated our resilience and it is this strength that inspires me to be better every single day.  My sleeves have been rolled up for several years, serving this region, and I will continue to do this.”

In accordance with section 175 of the Local Government Act 2009 and Section 5.2 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice Policy, the election of the Deputy Mayor occured at the first statutory meeting of the new Council.

Once the Council has been sworn in, nominations will be called from the elected members for the position of Deputy Mayor. Councillors may nominate themselves or another Councillor for the position of Deputy Mayor. Voting must be by a show of hands, and may not be by secret ballot.

For full details of the 2020 Southern Downs Regional Council election results, visit the ECQ website

During the special Post-Election Council Meeting, Councillor Ross Bartley was appointed Deputy Mayor.

Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley thanked the mover, Councillor Cynthia McDonald, and seconder, Councillor Stephen Tancred, for their kind words of support.

“It’s a challenging role, no doubt about it. This is a role where you have to have absolute trust in your Mayor and fellow Councillors” said Councillor Ross Bartley.

“The community has invested in each of us with their votes, and for every investment there should be a positive return.

“This is our very first test as Councillors and we need to ensure that the community feels their investment has been a wise one.”

Councillors voted to defer their decision on portfolios, pending further discussion.

To stay up to date with the latest Council news, residents are encouraged to visit Residents will also find Council’s COVID-19 Portal at the website.

Post-Election Council Meeting - Warwick


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