New council, new era

THE first meeting of the newly formed Somerset Regional Council was held on Monday, marking the beginning of a new era in the Brisbane Valley.

New councillors Kirsten Moriarty, Helen Brieschke, Michael Ogg and Jim Madden joined councillors Neil Zabel and Dan Hall in the chamber for the first time.

Returning councillor Dan Hall was appointed deputy mayor.

Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the first meeting was a good indication of things to come.

"I think it was very successful, and like all first meetings, things were new," he said.

"Like anything new, the councillors are all feeling their way and working things out.

"We have to work together as a team to achieve the best possible outcome for our region."

He said one of the things council was doing was ensuring it knew when grants were available to maximise the community groups involved.

"We also want to start a youth council, and of course our road maintenance is an important issue, as we want to keep momentum going and encourage development.

"Tourism is another factor we intend to work on and just making sure the region is moving forward."

Deputy Mayor Dan Hall said the job came as a surprise but he was prepared for what was ahead.

"It feels good to have as much support as I had, and I want to thank those who did support me," he said.

"It's important for us not to lose that momentum on road maintenance and the capital works program."

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