Women to lead Glenelg Shire

LEADERS ELECTED: Glenelg Shire Mayor Anita Rank and deputy mayor Karen Stephens.

ANITA Rank has been reelected for a historic fifth term as Glenelg Shire Council mayor, forming part of an all-female leadership team for the western Victorian local government area.

The Portland-based councillor and former school teacher, who was first elected to the chamber in 2012, was re-elected at last night’s statutory council meeting with Casterton based-councillor Karen Stephens elected deputy mayor.

The re-election makes Cr Rank the first Glenelg Shire councillor to serve as Mayor for five consecutive terms, with the term historically held for only 12 months.

“I am humbled and privileged to be appointed for a fifth term as Mayor of the Glenelg Shire,” Cr Rank said.

“There is a great sense of positivity with some new faces in the chamber who will bring along new and fresh ideas for consideration.

“As a new council team we are really looking forward to working with each other and getting stuck into our council plan and identifying the key focus areas for our community over the next four years.”

Cr Rank said she looked forward to working with the community through the economic recovery process with encouraging tourism within the shire among the top priorities, bolstered through the new GlenelgVIC branding and marketing campaign currently being rolled out across regional Victoria.

The council is also preparing to deliver an unprecedented number of community infrastructure projects over the next months, from recreation upgrades, township beautification and highly anticipated major works such as the Portland Foreshore and Marina upgrades.

Cr Rank will be supported by fellow elected members Ms Stephens, Gilbert Wilson, Scott Martin, Michael Carr, Chrissy Hawker and Jayden Smith.

Reflecting on the previous council, Cr Rank paid tribute to outgoing councillors Robert Halliday, Geoff White and Alistair McDonald.

“All councillors make a contribution to the community and leave legacies that they should be proud of,” she said.

“I thank Robert, Geoff and Alistair for all that they have done to help to shape our Shire, both past, present and future.”

Deputy Mayor Cr Karen Stephens similarly expressed enthusiasm for the new-look council and what it will achieve over the next term.

“It is great to see so much diversity in the chamber and I welcome our new council,” Cr Stephens said.

“Our focus will be continuing on the good work that we’ve done in energising our community and supporting the post-COVID recovery process,” she said. “There have been many challenges this year, however there are lots of opportunities we can capitalise on and continue to explore.

“Regional Victoria is now well positioned as a safe and highly liveable destination, and council will be taking advantage of the new opportunities that this shift in mindset offers.”