Cootamundra-Gundagai council general manager’s fresh approach

ASSET: Allen Dwyer says his impartiality and experience as a rural councillor will be beneficial in his new GM role with the CGRC. Picture: L Grey
ASSET: Allen Dwyer says his impartiality and experience as a rural councillor will be beneficial in his new GM role with the CGRC. Picture: L Grey

New CGRC general manager Allen Dwyer has prioritised council engagement with local community projects and promised “feet on the ground” ahead of the upcoming September elections.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Mr Dwyer said his first 10 days in office crisscrossing between Cootamundra, Gundagai and Sydney have been a productive necessity.

“I’ve been spending time in Gundagai and here meeting all the staff and also make time to contact former councillors and committees to see what our objectives are for the area,” Mr Dwyer said.

“Though I haven’t been in touch with the local advisory groups yet, this certainly hasn’t been deliberate and I really want to get a handle on some of the key issues before I talk to them.”

Mr Dwyer is refusing to shirk away from the realities of preparing for council elections, stating it’s a case of cramming 18 months of work into the three months prior to September, but guaranteed an immediate impact.

“I think I bring a fresh approach to the area,” Mr Dwyer said.

“I’ve no alliance or allegiance to Coota or Gundagai however I have a lot of experience and I really like seeing things happen for the community benefit.”

The former Hay councillor used the opportunity to reinforce the council’s commitment to amalgamation and stated vocal minorities would have little influence on CGRC operations.

“As far as council and staff are concerned, we are all moving forwards but if citizens want to try and do something else, they can and that’s up to them,” Mr Dwyer said.

“We’re children of the state government and we have to do what (they) tell us whether we like it or not. 

“Those groups are at liberty to do that but as far as we’re concerned, it will not influence what we do.

“Our role is to serve the community and we have to do that with the resources that we have.

A keen sportsman and supporter of the arts, Mr Dwyer has also thrown his support behind the Village Strategy and getting council workers out from behind their desks.

“I firmly believe that our role is not to prop up offices and have nobody out there delivering services,” he said.

“If the urban areas and road aren’t kept up to scratch, people won’t be attracted to the area.”

“I’d also like to see some more development in those (village) areas and we’ll be looking to do that through some of the merger money.”