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New councillors encouraged to step up in 2021

Emma Pritchard|


More than fifty percent of the Clarence Valley Council councillor team will feature new faces following the Local Government election on September 4, after the announcement that “about five” of the current nine councillors are planning on stepping back from their duties later this year.

The announcement was made by Laura Black, CVC Director of Corporate and Governance at the Grafton Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast meeting on February 17 in front of a large crowd which included several local business leaders and representatives.

Describing council as a really complex and diverse business, Ms Black said their executive team which includes herself, General Manager Ashley Lindsay, Director of Environment, Planning and Community Des Schroder and Director of Works and Civil Jamie Fleeting has over 80 years-experience in local government and she is looking forward to welcoming new councillors in 2021.

“It will be a real challenge for us as the administration to ensure that everybody is trained and they understand the organisation,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot of experience on the executive, administrative side,

but we’re looking for a team of councillors to join us as a strategic team.

“The role of the council is to provide guidance to the organisation and

to interpret what it is that the community want and ensure the council itself focuses on delivering that.”

Ms Black said three candidate briefing sessions will be held in July to

offer additional information to anyone interested in becoming a

councillor to allow them to gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities.

Two will take place on July 12 at the Grafton Regional Gallery at 1pm and 5:30pm and another will be held at the Maclean council chambers on July 15 at 5:30pm.

Registration is essential and can be completed online at

“It’s really important you come along so you understand more about the commitments involved in being a councillor and what your role will be about,” Ms Black said of the upcoming sessions.

Former mayor of Lismore Jenny Dowell OAM, who has been a mayoral mentor with LGNSW since her retirement in 2016, will be present at the briefing sessions to offer her support and encouragement and share her knowledge.

While addressing the crowd last week, Ms Black said she is hopeful of seeing several attendees at the upcoming candidate briefing sessions.