Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Dunn steps down

Councillor Peter Dunn is leaving council as well as closing the doors on his legal business to take on a new challenge.

ANGELA TOWNSEND December 26, 2012 4:57am

Councillor Peter Dunn is taking a new direction in his life.

Peter Dunn is resigning as a Benalla Rural City councillor and will close the doors of his business next month to pursue other opportunities.

While remaining tight-lipped on his future plans, Cr Dunn has said he can further discuss his new direction by the end of January.

‘‘It’s been a privilege to serve the community as a solicitor and councillor,’’ he said.

‘‘As well as a member of the leadership team with the Warrenbayne Fire Brigade, with which I intend to continue my involvement.’’

Cr Dunn said life as a councillor had been ‘‘full of highs and lows, and surprises’’.

‘‘I think I’ve made a difference, although possibly not as much as I’d have liked to. There have been a lot of frustrations — sometimes it seems to be more the tail wagging the dog,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s been some good decisions, but I don’t think the post office has been the best one.

‘‘I think we could have delivered a library-learning centre much quicker in other ways.’’

On last week’s VCAT ruling against council and in favour of the Royal Hotel increasing its electronic gaming machines to 30, Cr Dunn said, despite the costs — believed to be in excess of $60000 but not yet confirmed by Benalla Rural City — it was still worth fighting for the community.

At a 2011 council meeting to discuss the planning permit application for additional gaming machines, Cr Dunn said council recognised that for many people gaming is a bit of fun while out with friends or family.

‘‘For others it sees basic needs such as putting food on the table being neglected.’’

Benalla Rural City Mayor Barbara Alexander said she was sorry to receive the resignation of Cr Dunn.

‘‘Cr Dunn brought with him more than seven years of experience as a Benalla Rural City councillor and we have lost a great deal of knowledge and expertise,’’ she said.

‘‘Cr Dunn has served as acting mayor and a term as mayor and has chaired several council committees. On behalf of the council, I wish him well in his future endeavours.’’

The vacancy following Cr Dunn’s resignation will be filled through a countback of votes from the October 2012 general election. Returning officer Jim Shanahan said countbacks were used to fill vacancies in multi-councillor wards and unsubdivided municipalities if a councillor resigns or is ineligible to hold office.

‘‘Those candidates who were unsuccessful at the general election and are still eligible to be elected will be included in the countback,’’ he said.

The two remaining candidates are Ellen Crocker and Andrew Vale. The countback will take place at the Benalla Town Hall, Nunn St, Benalla at noon on Thursday, January 17.

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