IT’S A DEAL: Deputy Mayor Bob Kirk and Mayor Geoff Kettle with Yutaka and Yuko Imai and Southern Meats general manager Craig Newton earlier this month.DEPUTY Mayor Bob Kirk has formally given the council’s leader a “pat on the back” for his recent efforts on Goulburn Mulwaree’s behalf.
In a notice of motion at Tuesday’s meeting he successfully moved that the Council record its thanks and appreciation to Mayor Geoff Kettle and that he be “commended for his focus and his efforts.”
But the idea didn’t sit comfortably with Cr Robin Saville, who abstained from voting.
“I’m just concerned this is out of place and rather bizarre, especially given we have a mayoral election next month,” he said.
Cr Kirk replied that it had nothing to do with the mayoral election, which he described as a coincidence.
He had simply been thinking about Cr Kettle’s work and intended it as a “complimentary motion,” he told the meeting.
“I think it’s entirely appropriate to recognise this and to say to people we’re not just a bunch of fat cats…A lot of people have no idea of the time and effort required.”
Cr Kirk was referring to Cr Kettle’s role in finalising an export lamb deal between Southern Meats and Japanese businessman, Yutaka Imai, who recently visited from Goulburn’s sister-city, Shibetsu. Mr Imai and his wife Yuko arrived following a reciprocal Goulburn Mulwaree visit to Shibetsu in July. While there, Cr Kettle had suggested Southern Meats as an export option for Mr Imai’s restaurants.
“A week or so back, following this very successful visit…I was giving thought to the role that Cr Kettle had played in making it such a success,” Cr Kirk told the meeting.
“Then I thought on the many activities that he has carried out during his time as Mayor – and how well he has done so.”
He said many people would not be aware of his efforts in “nursing the (Macarthur Grange) brewery proposal through to fruition,” pushing the archival storage project to key political players or the five days he had spent with the Imais during their time here.
“There have also been some difficult and embarrassing moments for Council in that time and these have also been well and professionally handled,” Cr Kirk said.
“Out of the latest of such moments, the Oallen Ford bridge issue, the mayor has again excelled. Under threat of losing the government grant for this project, Mayor Kettle got on the front foot, went to Sydney, contacted and met with Minister (Duncan) Gay and successfully secured the funding so this project can proceed. That was last week’s achievement.
“I know he will say he has been well supported by me and others, but his energy, focus and professionalism in all manner of dealings is outstanding and I would like to say so on behalf of the community.”
Cr Kettle replied that he was embarrassed.
“But you’re 100 per cent correct.
The person sitting here is only as good as the people in front and to the left and right of him,” he said.
All other councillors voted in favour of the motion.
The Mayoral and Deputy Mayoral elections will be held on September 16. Both Cr Kettle and Cr Kirk have committed to standing.
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