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Betts Back While Nash Nabs Randwick Robes

By Marcus Braid on October 29, 2013 in

Photo: Randwick City Council

Photo: Randwick City Council

Spring not only heralds the birth of new life and is a welcome break from the cold winter weather, it’s also the time of year when local councillors get down to the business of electing a new mayor.

Randwick City Council welcomed Liberal councillor Scott Nash back to the top job. He reclaimed the mayoral robes after a 12-month break while Labor’s Tony Bowen took over the reins. Over at Waverley Council, the mayoral honour was once again bestowed upon Cr Sally Betts.

Cr Nash’s appointment is part of a four-year shared agreement made between the Labor and Liberal councillors 12 months ago, which will see a Labor mayor elected in the first and fourth year and a Liberal for the middle two years.

Cr Nash is a long-time local resident who grew up in Malabar attending St Andrews Primary School, Malabar and Marcellin College, Randwick. He was elected to Randwick City Council in March 2004, and was re-elected in September 2008.

He is a barrister practising at Martin Place Chambers in the areas of planning, local government and environmental law.

This is Cr Nash’s second term as mayor, having previously served for 12 months from September 2011 to September 2012, and he said that it felt as though he has never left.

“I don’t feel like there’s been a year’s gap – I feel as though I’m getting straight back down to it,” he said. “I’m an old hand now. It’s a sense of satisfaction to come back and I’m just going to get the job done.”

One of Cr Nash’s top priorities over the next 12 months is ensuring that Council continues to provide support for the disadvantaged, including the Indigenous youth in the area.

“It’s not just the role for the state and federal government to address social issues. Where council can get involved, I think it should,” he said.

Cr Nash also expressed a desire to ensure that Council continues to play a key role in the $400 million light rail project between Kingsford to Circular Quay.

“I want to make sure that we can continue to work with the state government and the main stakeholders in our area such as the racecourse and the uni so any issues can be addressed properly and fully,” he said.

The council is in the process of developing another five-year plan for the Sustaining Our City program and Cr Nash said along with water and energy initiatives and education for residents, the extension of the coastal walkway from South Maroubra to Malabar was high on the list.

Independent Councillor Anthony Andrews has been elected deputy mayor, taking over from Labor deputy mayor Cr Noel D’Souza.

In Waverley, Cr Sally Betts has been returned as mayor for a second consecutive term. The Liberal was voted in with a clear majority over former Labor mayor John Wakefield. Liberal councillor Tony Kay was endorsed as deputy mayor for another year.