Mayor Humphries Returned as Chair of Country Mayors’ Association Mayor Katrina Humphries was been re-appointed as the Chair of the Country Mayors’ Association (CMA) for the fourth year in a row at their Annual General Meeting last Friday in Sydney. Joining Cr Humphries as returning Deputy Chair of the CMA is Mayor Michael Pearce of Uralla Shire Council. The CMA represents almost 70 rural and coastal councils across New South Wales, with the group proving to be a formidable force in advocating for local government and issues that affect their communities. “It is an honour to be re-appointed as the Chair of the Country Mayors’ Association”, said Mayor Humphries. “Country Mayors has never been more relevant as it is now and I am so pleased that we represent a collective voice on many matters affecting councils outside of the metro areas. I believe that our Association serves as one of the NSW Government's best contacts with the bush, coastal and regional areas and I am incredibly proud of my role in this.” At last week’s meeting, members of the CMA were joined by the following speakers: Rob Rogers, Deputy Commissioner of NSW Rural Fire Service and Corey Shackleton, Director of Community Resilence of NSW Rural Fire Service; Matt Fuller, Acting Deputy Secretary, Regional and Outer Metropolitan, Transport for NSW and Peter Ryan, Senior Manager, Major Property Development and Corporate Real Estate, Corporate Services, Transport for NSW; Gary White, Chief Planner, Planning, Industry and Environment. “The speakers we hosted at last week’s meeting are testament to the clout and relevance of our membership. “With 494,028 hectares burnt out across the state since 1 July, bush fire season is affecting many of our member councils so it was timely to hear from the NSW Rural Fire Service. “It was also great to hear of about the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan which details the forward thinking for regional NSW for the movement of people and freight to meet customer needs and deliver responsive, innovative services for our communities. “And of course, it was lovely to host a great friend of Country Mayors, Mr Gary White, the Chief Planner for NSW who spoke very passionately about the need for strategic planning for land use in our Shires. Moree Plains is in fact amidst its consultation process for our Local Strategic Planning Statement this week so it was a great reminder of why it is essential to plan what we want for our futures.” At the Annual General Meeting, the Executive of the CMA was confirmed as follows: John Seymour, Coolamon Shire Council Liz Campbell, Kempsey Shire Council Cathy Redding, Narrabri Shire Council Kathy Sajowitz, Oberon Council Ken Keith OAM, Parkes Shire Council Peter Petty, Tenterfield Shire Council “I am proud to be working with other driven country Mayors and to be a part of a group that supports each other and our communities”, Mayor Humphries commented. “Over the years we have stood-up for our communities and citizens - earlier this year, we fought alongside our local State Member Adam Marshall for rural workers in the energy sector and helped to save 182 jobs.  We will continue this type of advocacy and drive our relationships with State and Federal government representatives closer.” Photograph 1: Mayor Katrina Humphries.