Murray River Councillor, Chris Bilkey, has tendered his resignation after almost seven years with the organisation, citing ongoing health concerns.
The Moama-based councillor was first elected to Murray River Council in 2017 and was previously a councillor with the former Murray Shire prior to amalgamations.
He was elected as the inaugural Mayor of Murray River Council and held the position for nearly two terms, with Councillor Frank Crawley stepping into the vacated role last month.
Council CEO, Terry Dodds thanked Cr Bilkey for his tireless contributions to the local community throughout his decade-plus of service.
“I know this has been a challenging decision for Chris and on behalf of the Council I wish him the best,” he said.
“Chris can be extremely proud of the contribution he has made to helping Murray River Council become such a vibrant region to live, work and visit.”
“He represented our community with intelligence, care, and passion, and was a strong advocate for regional development and tourism.”
“His ability to think strategically is second-to-none and the impact his leadership and guidance has made is significant and will be long lasting.”
Mr Dodds said Cr Bilkey had overseen significant development across the Murray River Council communities over the last six years, including a range of community infrastructure, park and sport pavilion upgrades and the Meninya Street Precinct Masterplan, which are some of the biggest projects undertaken by Council since inception.
“On the advocacy front, he has been front and centre during major events including the ongoing pandemic and more recently, the flood event.”
“The council and Chris were even recognised with a Local Government Award for advocacy efforts during border closures brought on by the pandemic; a fight they took to both state governments, the Federal Government and metropolitan media.”
Cr Bilkey is also widely recognised amongst his local government peers for his leadership, most notably regarding the development of RAMJO’s Water Position Paper which he led and oversaw on behalf of the basin community, he said.