Alan Hall has been re-elected Wellington Shire mayor for a second consecutive year, with Gayle Maher deputy mayor

Alan Hall has been re-elected mayor of Wellington Shire, while Gayle Maher is the new deputy mayor.
Alan Hall has been re-elected mayor of Wellington Shire, while Gayle Maher is the new deputy mayor.

ALAN Hall was this week re-elected for a second consecutive year as mayor of Wellington Shire.

A vote of councillors on Wednesday re-elected Cr Hall to the top job ahead of outgoing deputy mayor Malcolm Hole six votes to three.

Fellow Coastal Ward councillor Gayle Maher was elected unopposed as deputy mayor, taking over from Cr Hole.

Cr Hall highlighted the ongoing drought as challenge council would face in the next 12 months.

"We've got the continuing issue of the drought, we've got to keep focussed on that - the impact that has on our whole community, not just our farmers," he said.

"When the farmers hurt, the whole community hurts.

"There are a whole range of other initiatives in the tourism space, which need to be focussed on, in the economic development space, bringing new industry.

"There's some exciting things potentially going to happen, even in the waste management space."

This week council voted to use a $3.31 million state government drought package on a rate credit for farming properties.

On top of the 20 per cent rate differential applied to farming properties, the one-off credit represent a 30 per cent discount on the remaining rates.

Cr Hall thanked the councillors for electing him for a second term.

"I've enjoyed by first year as mayor," he said.

"It's a great job ... you get to engage with a fabulous community.

"We're very fortunate, we've got a great set of colleagues and well-supported by officers.

"If you want to be mayor, this is a great place to be mayor in."

Cr Maher, from Port Albert, is looking forward to her role as deputy mayor.

"Thank you for your support and I will certainly do my utmost in representing this council and supporting the mayor in this deputy role," she said.

"I'd like to thank ratepayers who voted me in to this privileged position to represent them on council, and I look forward to the work ahead."

Crs Hall and Maher will form council's leadership team for the final 12 months of the current term, with elections due next October.

Changes to the state Local Government Act mean Wellington Shire could be divided into nine wards, each represented by a councillor.

The previous election, in 2016, could be the only one in which three councillors were elected from each of the three wards.

Wellington was previously unsubdivided, with nine councillors not representing wards.