Cabonne Mayor Ian Gosper was praised for his outstanding commitment and dedication when he received a special Emeritus Mayor Award today from Local Government NSW.
The President of Local Government NSW Cr Keith Rhoades presented the award to Cr Gosper at a ceremony at the Molong Council Chambers.
The award recognises the long-standing dedication, leadership and direction that Cr Gosper has provided to his community.
Cr Gosper has announced he will not be contesting next month’s Cabonne Council election after serving nine years on the Council, four as Mayor and two as Deputy Mayor.
Praising Cr Gosper’s devotion to the role, Cr Rhoades described him as a “true son of Cabonne”.
He congratulated him on his exemplary service during the past nine years, but particularly for his leadership and the support of the Cabonne community in its fight against the NSW Government’s proposal to amalgamate Cabonne with Orange City and Blayney Councils.
“You were one of the instigators of the grassroots campaign against forced mergers – you talked to your community, made an informed decision and told the government what they were doing was wrong,” Cr Rhoades said.
“I’m sure you had many sleepless nights, but in the end you won the case for your community and I’m sure they will not forget it.”
In accepting his award, Cr Gosper thanked his wife Mel and family for their amazing support and paid tribute to his fellow councillors and staff of Cabonne Council for their strong loyalty to the organisation.
“I’m sure that with the commitment and support of our community, councillors and staff, Cabonne Council will be here for a long time to come,” Cr Gosper said.
Cr Rhoades also presented Local Government NSW Service Awards to Deputy Mayor Kevin Walker and Crs Geoff Dean, Anthony Durkin and Sharon Wilcox who have also completed nine years on council.
Former councillors Janelle Culverson and Lachie MacSmith, who resigned earlier this year, also received service awards.
Cr Rhoades presented certificates on behalf of Cabonne Council to Crs Ian Davison, Marlene Nash and Greg Treavors who have served the past five years on Council.
The Local Government NSW President was accompanied by the organisation’s Chief Executive Donna Rygate, who described the visit to Cabonne as a homecoming, having grown up in Canowindra.
“Cabonne is a special place to me and I was determined not to miss today’s ceremony,” Ms Rygate said.