Shire of Plantagenet’s Chris Pavlovich returned as president as new council sworn in

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Shire of Plantagenet president Chris Pavlovich.
Camera IconShire of Plantagenet president Chris Pavlovich. Credit: Shannon Smith/Albany Advertiser

Shire of Plantagenet president Chris Pavlovich and deputy president Jon Oldfield will continue to lead the council for another two years after they were re-elected unopposed last week.

Council convened for a special meeting on Thursday to swear in its five recently elected councillors, fill committee positions and decide who will hold the two top roles.

Crs Pavlovich and Oldfield were re-elected unanimously.

“We had a very keen group of councillors who were keen to fulfil all their interests within the different committees that we run, both internal council committees and external community committees,” Cr Pavlovich said.

“We are looking at the future with our council.

“A lot of the more senior members of our council have decided to take a more supporting role in a lot of our committees so we can give some of our more junior members of council the opportunity to stand up and show some leadership qualities — that will be our succession planning in the future.”

This month delivered one of the Shire’s tightest local government election races in recent memory with five seats up for grabs.

Four incumbents managed to hold on to their seats with Cr Oldfield finishing with the most votes (1028), closely followed by councillor of eight years Sue Etherington (997) and councillor of 12 years Len Handasyde (987).

Mount Barker Community College principal Andrew Fraser was the only new face to be sworn in on Thursday after securing a seat with 959 votes.

Cr Brett Bell (890 votes) held onto his seat by just three votes over local teacher Rosie Brown.

“We are putting a lot of work into the ambiance of the town and to make the community a nice, pleasant place where people want to reside, stay and move to,” Cr Pavlovich said.

“That involves street landscaping and a lookout up on Mt Barker Hill which has proved quite popular already. We are looking at a number of different trails, one linking up the Porongurups to the Mt Barker townsite and all sorts of tracks for push bikes and walkers.

“There will be a lot of signposts and branding to really capture the eye of not only the locals but also the 5000-odd people that pass through the middle of Mt Barker everyday on Albany Highway.”

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