Bob Kirk stands again as Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor

ANOTHER GO: Mayor Bob Kirk will again put up his hand for the top job at Tuesday night's elections. Photo supplied.
ANOTHER GO: Mayor Bob Kirk will again put up his hand for the top job at Tuesday night's elections. Photo supplied.

Mayor Bob Kirk appears to be a shoo-in to again secure the top job at Tuesday’s Mayoral election.

But the Deputy Mayoral position may be a more open affair with Cr Peter Walker throwing his hat in the ring. Current Deputy Mayor Alfie Walker said he was “in two minds” on whether to renominate and was talking to his colleagues.

“I’ve really enjoyed it (but) I also think the role is a good one for other councillors to have exposure to...I’ve always been of that view,” he said. 

Unlike 2016, Cr Margaret O’Neill is not vying for the deputy’s position.

As of Thursday, general manager Warwick Bennett said he’d only received nominations from Cr Kirk for the Mayor’s job and Cr Peter Walker for the deputy’s. However councillors can nominate up until Tuesday night.

Cr Kirk will stand for another two-year term.

“I’d like to think I’ve made a reasonable fist of being at the forefront of the council and there wouldn’t be too much opposition,” he said.

“...I have the time and focus to put in the effort to be the front man and I think I have an even-handed and well rounded approach, as we all do. I certainly like representing the place at this level and higher.”

He looked forward to helping to bring the many infrastructure projects underway to fruition.

Cr Kirk said he saw himself as part of a team and didn’t keep a “personal scorebook.”

“The Sewerage Treatment Plant, wastewater treatment plant and performing arts centre are all at the stage of construction,” he said.

“We have so many great things coming to fruition – the street trees, aquatic centre (upgrade), Victoria Park and Seiffert Oval improvements. We as a council have achieved those things and I have the pleasure of leading it...We all make our contribution.”

The Mayor said he was he was looking forward to recycled water from the wastewater plant being used on the city’s sporting fields. Planning for a new hockey complex at the Carr Confoy fields was also “reaching the pointy end.”

Cr Kirk told The Post he was buoyed by the wider positive feedback about Goulburn, its exposure in numerous publications and the fact the area was setting its own direction despite broader strategic planning.

“In the southeastern region we know we’re a leading local government community and people look to us for assistance, advice and bright ideas. That is complimentary to the organisation,” he said.

Cr Peter Walker said he also had the time and energy to devote to the deputy’s role but he was talking to his colleagues on whether to stand.

“We need to be working as a team over the next two years, especially with all these projects,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot on the agenda and my focus is on getting them all addressed rather than just saying ‘I’m a councillor,’” he said.

Cr Walker said he’d enjoyed his two years on the council and the vibrancy Goulburn Mulwaree was now enjoying.

Meantime, Cr Alfie Walker believed the council was a proactive one. While it disagreed at times, members could unite to achieve outcomes.

“I’m definitely proud of the Performing Arts Centre and the fact we got it approved, and some other projects like to the Wollondilly Walking Track. We can be really proud of it and that community engagement with the waterways is on the rise,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Alfie Walker is considering whether to run again.

Deputy Mayor Alfie Walker is considering whether to run again.

Cr Alfie Walker said he’d loved the opportunity to represent his community and contribute to its leadership but was open to giving someone else a go in the role.

Former Goulburn City Mayor Margaret O’Neill isn’t standing for either position. However she said she supported Cr Kirk as Mayor.

“In the next two years we need to work as a team and for the community. We only have two years to go and we need to get some runs on the board,” she said.

Cr O’Neill said she’s like to see the reintroduction of open councillor workshops “so the community knows what we’re talking about.”

Currently, councillors attend numerous briefing sessions which are closed to the public. They’re designed as information gathering forums rather than decision making ones but help inform representatives on more  complex matters. 

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 6pm and is open to the public. Councillors will firstly decide the method of voting – preferential or ordinary ballot or open voting – for the Mayoral and deputy mayoral election.

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