'I think I'm a true independent': McRae hopes for second term as deputy

Orange deputy mayor Joanne McRae. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0828jkmcrae3

Orange deputy mayor Joanne McRae. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0828jkmcrae3

AFTER flying the flag for women in local government for the past year and learning the ropes at Orange City Council, Joanne McRae is hoping for a second term as deputy mayor.

Councillors will vote on who they think should fill the position on Tuesday night, with Cr McRae one of two so far to declare her intention to stand. 

She also has support from the public, with the Central Western Daily’s reader poll placing her well in front of her 10 colleagues. 

Asked whether politics had played a larger part of the role than she expected, Cr McRae thought she might have “put my foot in it” on a few occasions.

“I’m not a political animal, what you see is what you get and I think I’m a true independent,” she said. 

She believed the council had become more open and accessible in the past year, with the help of live-streamed council meetings. 

“Personally I think there’s an opportunity to explain more to our community about the council so they’re not afraid about speaking to councillors about their queries so we get a more diverse council the next time elections come around,” she said. 

I’m still the only woman on the council and we really don’t represent the diversity of the community.

Joanne McRae

“I’m still the only woman on the council and we really don’t represent the diversity of the community.”

With the deputy’s role involving stepping in for mayor Reg Kidd in his absence, Cr McRae said she had come into contact with organisations she had not known a lot about, including Anson Street School’s art program and Dragons Abreast. 

Cr McRae said the CBD revitalisation would take top priority during the coming 12 months.

“It really has to be the focus, that’s something the community is crying out for,” she said. 

Cr Kidd will retain his position until the next full council elections in 2020, having been directly elected by ratepayers last year. 

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