Cr Frank Buchanan Elected to Mayoral Role
19th November 2014

Colac Otway Shire Council's new Mayor Frank Buchanan has earmarked his term in leadership as a time to build on successes and critically review and adjust the things that are not working well.

Cr Buchanan took over the Council's top post from outgoing Mayor Lyn Russell, who has led Council for the past two years.

Cr Brian Crook will serve as Deputy Mayor.

Describing the Mayoral role as both "exciting and daunting", Cr Buchanan thanked his colleagues for electing him to the position.

"We have a new CEO and some senior staff changes, which will give us an opportunity to have a critical look at how we operate as an organisation," he said.

"I'm excited by the opportunities in Colac Otway Shire.  We have a strong manufacturing industry and demand for our dairy, lamb, grain and timber products," he said.

"I also recognise the constant battle to remain profitable in farming and other businesses, and I think local government can play an active role in this area.

"Tourism is now a well-established industry along the Great Ocean Road and hinterland, and success relies on being competitive and having adequate infrastructure to meet growth.

"While the emphasis will be on our established core activities, we must also take an advocacy role on broader issues that affect our community, such as disadvantage, drug misuse and educational attainment."

Cr Buchanan said one of our community's most outstanding strengths was the level of volunteerism throughout the shire.

"There are people who spend countless hours doing unpaid work across the shire and they are the main reason why Colac Otway, and other rural shires are special," he said.

"I know all our councillors and staff want to place a greater emphasis on recognising and supporting our volunteers."

In taking on the Mayoral role, Cr Buchanan acknowledged his predecessor Cr Russell for her dedication to the job.

"Lyn has worked tirelessly for our shire for the past two years, and in particular been a strong advocate for our part of the world througha federal and state election.

"The great majority of residents only see a very small amount of work and time Lyn spends both publicly and behind the scenes.

"I'd like to congratulate and thank Lyn for her past two years of exemplary service."

Cr Buchanan lives just outside Apollo Bay with his wife Beb, and they have two adult children. He has been a dairy farmer for most of his working life, after 10 years in forestry.

Throughout his career, Cr Buchanan has taken an active role representing his community and industries.

Cr Buchanan said he welcomed feedback from the community about council's direction.

"We've started visiting towns across the shire so that residents can talk to councillors and officers about any issues or ideas they may have.

"I think this is a great way of being able to hear from our community and I look forward to seeing more people at our upcoming community conversations."


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