Although the last six months especially has been a difficult time for me at council, it has all been worth the effort to see such a positive result at last week’s election.
I would like to thank all my supporters who have worked hard to assist my campaign in the past year and to those who offered support against the pressure directed at me over that time.
We put forward a policy platform that I am sure does not normally get seen at most council elections.
In this election, voters could read about policies that would make a difference and decide whether or not to support those ideas in how they placed their vote.
There was much debate within the community about this election and the record number of candidates who chose to stand and contest this election.
I believe that all councillors elected included in their platform a desire to work together in a collegiate way and I endorse that approach.
I have high hopes for what can be achieved by this new council for the ratepayers in the coming years.
I would like to say a special thanks to all the individuals who made the decision to stand.
Democracy was the winner and I feel we have ended up with a wide range of skills within the new council body that should have a direct influence on making things better in the shire.
I would also like to thank my family and close friends for the efforts and understanding of the long hours and hectic work schedule leading into this election period.
A special thanks to the 86 year-old lady who left a message on my phone all those months ago after a particular nasty newspaper attack on me encouraging me to keep up the good work and get council changed.
I also must thank Mary Baker who worked tirelessly on the campaign trail towards getting me re-elected.
I feel I made many new acquaintances and friendships during this period and I look forward to continuing those into the future.
I look forward now to getting to know the new councillors and working towards implementing a new direction and culture at council and improving so many areas of concern that were expressed to me during the 16 weeks I spent door knocking.
For the record, I did cover over 90 per cent of the ward’s roads and knocked on most doors unless a locked gate or large dog prevented access.
Cr Don Hill, Tarwin Valley Ward.