TASMANIA’S longest-serving Mayor, Brighton’s Tony Foster has announced his intention to retire on June 30 next year.
Cr Foster, who has served on Council for 35 years and the past 27 years as Mayor, last night advised Council of his intention to retire. Cr Foster said he was announcing his decision now to allow for a smooth and orderly transition to a new leadership.
The Mayor has overseen significant growth and development in Brighton over the past three and a half decades.
He said his decision was not rushed, but one he had contemplated for some time.
“After lengthy consideration over the past few months and in discussions with my wife Noeline, I decided that now is the time to announce my retirement as Mayor and from Council. I believe it is in Council’s and the community’s best interests to provide sufficient notice of my intention.”
Cr Foster said by June 30 next year, Brighton Council’s new General Manager, James Dryburgh, will have occupied the role for a full 12 months.
“It was always my intention to remain as Mayor to support James through the transition from our previous General Manager Ron Sanderson, and the establishment of James’ management team. I am confident this timing will achieve this support.
“As well, with the announcements in last week’s State Budget of funding for the new Brighton High School, the redevelopment of the School Farm and the replacement
Bridgewater Bridge, I will have overseen the commencement of the last major initiatives that I have campaigned and lobbied for over recent years.
“These will have progressed even further by June next year and I will be contented to retire, knowing that the projects are at last being delivered for our community.”
Cr Foster said he was proud that over many years, he had played a key role in achieving other significant initiatives in the Brighton Municipality.
These include: • The Brighton By-pass. • Development of the Transport Hub and expansion of the Brighton Industrial Estate. • The development of the Jordan River Learning Centre and associated School Farm. • Improved medical, dental and allied health services for the community. • The creation of Brighton’s fair rating system that is providing residents with the lowest rates in Tasmania. • The major expansion of affordable and social housing in the Municipality. • The development of the Brighton Civic Centre. • The Federal Government’s announcement that it would receive some 500 refugees from war-torn Kosovo and house them at the former Brighton Army Camp, establishing an exciting and caring chapter in the Municipality’s history. • The refurbishment and other developments at the Brighton Army Camp. • The Brighton Council sewerage effluent re-use program, establishing Brighton as a leader in this environmental initiative. • The Brighton Streetscape plan, new and improved playgrounds, walking tracks and cycle paths. • The Bridgewater Parklands Project the first phase of which was opened two years ago and the second phase to be completed early next year • Significantly enhanced sporting facilities, particularly the Brighton Regional Sports Centre, and support for Brighton Eagles’ entry into Tasmanian Premier League cricket competition. • The development of the Brighton Bowls and Community Club. • The establishment and development of the Council-owned Microwise Australia technology business. • Brighton’s early adoption of resource-sharing and establishing the South Central Sub-Region Councils’ group • The embracing of energy efficiency initiatives and other cost-savings measures. • The establishment and maintenance of key road, bridge and other public infrastructure throughout the Municipality.
Cr Foster said Brighton Council had achieved much over the years and he was proud that he had been able to play a part, first as a Councillor and then in his years as Mayor.
“With that in mind, I believe it is now time that I hand over to a new generation of leadership.
“I will retire enormously satisfied with what we have achieved during my time as Mayor and I am confident I will leave Council with a sound financial base, strong management team and clear strategies to take the Municipality forward in the years ahead,” Cr Foster said.