George returned as deputy mayor

RICHMOND Valley Councillor Stuart George was re-elected as deputy mayor at last night's council meeting with a narrow margin of one vote.

Cr Shirley Wheatley also contested the position, but was defeated with only four votes to Cr George's five.

Cr Wheatley had held the position as deputy mayor for five terms before she was defeated by Cr George last year.

Councillors also voted to continue to fund the Richmond Valley Mayoral Scholarship, which provides 50 per cent of the funds required to host an 18-week internship for a student studying tourism at Southern Cross University.

The current recipient of the award, Roselee Turner, was presented with a certificate to acknowledge her achievement by mayor Col Sullivan at last night's meeting.

Ms Turner said her internship in the council's tourism team had been a valuable experience and she hoped the program would continue.

Councillors and council staff also acknowledged the value and success of the program.

During public access, environmentalist Tony Gleeson played councillors a one-minute DVD featuring a talking wombat.

The wombat's message was that everybody should respect the environment and the other inhabitants of the planet.

Mr Gleeson commended the council for its climate change policies and urged them to engage the community more when planning for the effects of climate change.

A proposal by several RSL sub-branches to open a regional military musuem failed to win the support of council after councillors resolved its financial position did not allow it to get behind the project.

“In our hearts we support it,” Cr Charlie Cox said.

“But we cannot lead the charge because there may be expectations we can contribute to it.”

The council business paper noted the council was being asked to peruse a project for which there was no identified funding and was not part of the council's strategic planning, although it was noted the proposal had merit.

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