Councillor John Rooney is the Mayor of Snowy Monaro Regional Council.
“We are now going to pull together as a united team. We are one Snowy Monaro Region,” he said in his inaugural speech.
Councillor Lynley Miners was elected Deputy Mayor.
Who is John Rooney and why did he want to be Mayor?
I am an economist with 30 years’ experience advising the Commonwealth Government on small business, energy, environment, industry, regional development, tourism and transport issues. I am married with two adult children and live on a farm near Michelago, in a house I owner-built.
I am running for Council to provide a voice for small towns, small businesses, farmers, tourism, and regional development. I understand that people in small towns, rural and remote areas feel neglected and want a fairer share of Council funds and services.
Council overregulation is stifling enterprise and growth. I want Council to reduce red-tape and focus on attracting investment, boosting economic growth, encouraging enterprise, promoting tourism and fostering regional development.
The Bombala-Delegate area needs a regional development strategy that focuses on timber, transport and tourism. Timber contributes as much to Bombala shire output as the next two largest industries combined (agriculture and tourism). The timber industry supports half of all shire jobs: 240 directly and 250 indirectly.
Bombala shire’s timber industry needs a growing resource base. Council should review its planning and development regulations to remove any impediments to replanting and expanding softwood plantations. Efficient transport of logs and timber products is essential. Rail is the most efficient form of land transport. Reopening the Queanbeyan-Bombala railway would give the Dongwha mill access to softwood plantations in the ACT and Palarang. Dongwha could then expand, creating more jobs. Extending the railway to Eden would open access to a port, facilitating exports and attracting tourists.