Sugarloaf Ward Councillor Ben Ramcharan has been elected the new Mayor of Nillumbik Shire Council, and Wingrove Ward Councillor Geoff Paine elected Deputy Mayor, at the Extraordinary Meeting of Council livestreamed to the community last night.
At 26 years old, Cr Ramcharan is the youngest Mayor of Nillumbik.
“It’s really important to have young people in politics to represent a different side of things and to bring a different perspective and I’m really pleased to be able to do that,” Cr Ramcharan said during his first address to Council as Mayor.
“It’s an honour to be a part of this Council and to work in the interests of our community.
“I think in the first two years we have really changed the direction of the organisation. It hasn’t been easy and there is still a lot of work to do, but over time we have put in place plans and policies and shown what our values are.
“It’s quite clear we are a Council that cares about our Green Wedge, about biodiversity, about action on climate change, action on waste and supporting everyone in our community from all areas in the Shire.”
Cr Ramcharan, who was Deputy Mayor in 2021/22, said Council’s focus would be the implementation of the strategies and plans developed over the past two years.
“I’m really looking forward to the year ahead and what we can all achieve together.”
Cr Ramcharan thanked outgoing Mayor Frances Eyre for her invaluable contribution to Council and the Nillumbik community over the past year.
“It’s been a huge pleasure working with you as Deputy Mayor and I’ve learned so much,” Cr Ramcharan said.
Deputy Mayor Geoff Paine said he was looking forward to supporting the Mayor over the next year.
“Very clearly there’s a new kid on the block and it’s my job to back him up, support him and learn from him and so I’m looking forward to working with Cr Ramcharan over the coming year and seeing what we can achieve together,” Cr Paine said.
Both Cr Ramcharan and Cr Paine have been elected to their positions for a one-year term.
The meeting also saw the appointment of Cr Peter Perkins as Chairperson for Planning Matters before the Planning and Consultation Committee while Cr Frances Eyre was appointed Chairperson for Consultation Matters.