Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today joined mayors and general managers from across the Cootamundra electorate to discuss issues and priorities – and wins – in their local government areas.

Ms Cooke invited the leaders from all nine councils in the Cootamundra electorate to Temora to take part in the forum which facilitated the exchange of ideas, challenges and approaches to common problems across the Cootamundra electorate.

The forum – the first of three to be held this year – focused on a set of action plans for each of the individual councils as well as the electorate as a whole.

Ms Cooke said she came up with the concept late last year as a means of ensuring there was a direct line from the Cootamundra electorate into parliament.

DSC_0561.JPG

“This notion of getting everyone in a room together to really drill down on how I can best represent our local government areas is one that I thought was absolutely necessary,” she said.

“Some of the mayors and GMs had never been in a room with each other before and there was a lot of sharing of ideas between the different councils, but also it gave them the opportunity to think big about how we could progress the electorate as a whole.”

One of Ms Cooke’s main questions to them was; “how can I help you?”

“It was a chance for us to go through the issues facing the electorate and have a look at the priorities for each local government, and to really solidify that relationship between local government and state government so that we can get the best outcomes for all of our communities.

“It was very constructive and I look forward to holding more summits in the future,” she said.

Mayor of Temora Rick Firman said it was a wonderful opportunity to get together to compare experiences with peers.

“I thought was a real joy to be able to share and to listen to the priorities of the respective councils within the Cootamundra electorate,” he said.

“We know Ms Cooke is working hard for us and the communities that we serve, and we look forward to working beside her to make this Cootamundra electorate – and our respective shires – number one in the state,” he said.