In for whole of first term

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

They didn’t appear like this at yesterday’s monthly zoom meeting but Federation Council’s Deputy Mayor Shaun Whitechurch (left), pictured with Mayor Pat Bourke, was re-elected unopposed in the role yesterday.

It means the re-election of 50-year-old Cr Whitechurch, and recently turned 56-year-old Mayor Bourke will have served in their respective roles for the whole of the first term of the elected Federation Council from 2017 to September 2021.

Federation Council was formed in 2016 following the merger of Corowa and Urana Shires and was initially run by Administrator Mike Eden of Albury.

In 2017, councillors were elected for a three-year term. Crs Bourke and Whitechurch were elected as mayor and deputy mayor respectively – the mayor for a two-year term and one year for the deputy. 

Both have been re-elected at the required times. The mayoral election in 2019 was for a one-year term in anticipation of the Local Government Election in September 2020.

Due to COVID-19 however, the next Local Government election has been postponed until 4 September 2021. Under the Local Government Act 1993, the mayor elected by councillors is for a two-year term. The mayor will therefore remain for another one-year term without the need for an election this year.

Voting would normally be via secret ballot. Due to COVID-19, council has been holding virtual meetings and yesterday’s voting would most likely have been via open ballot if more than one candidate was nominated for the deputy mayor’s position.