Tosh-Jake Finnigan is Colac Otway Shire Council’s newest Councillor following a Victorian Electoral Commission countback yesterday.
A local business owner and musician, Cr Finnigan said they are excited to start and learn the role.
“I’m really keen to hit the ground running, and not only represent the community, but get into learning the role of Councillor.”
“I’m looking forward to the challenges that are going to be presented, and I’m not going to shy away from making the hard decisions, but I’m always going to be accountable for my actions and my vote.
“I will seek to represent everyone in the shire equally and as best I can and deal with each issue that comes before me fairly and equitably,” Cr Finnigan said.
Cr Finnigan said they are also interested in advocating for the LGBTQI+ community.
“I’ve been informed I am the ﬁrst trans-identifying person elected to a Council (or any elected body) in Victoria’s history, and whilst I never set out to be the ﬁrst, I will do my very best to set a good example and blaze a trail for future LGBTQI+ candidates.”
A long-time resident of Colac Otway, Cr Finnigan said they hope to encourage growth in the shire, and to see ratepayers get value for their money.
“I hope to encourage people to move to our shire, not just the main population centre of Colac, but the entirety of our shire. We need to open up areas for more housing stock so we can encourage young families to move here.
“We’ve got great schools, we’ve got great recreational opportunities, let’s do the ground work now to foster a younger population moving forward so the shire continues to grow.
“I also believe Council has a duty to ensure we’re getting value for each dollar of ratepayers’ money we spend, and where possible, should only engage local businesses and organisations to ensure our rate spend stays within our community.
“Being a musician I’m also passionate about the arts and hope to see if we can get back to implementing a Freeza type committee and possibly a youth council.
“I hope to be a role-model for others in the community,” Cr Finnigan said.
Council CEO, Anne Howard congratulated Cr Finnigan on being elected to Colac Otway Shire Council.
“On behalf of Mayor, Councillors and the organisation we congratulate Tosh on being elected to Council,” she said.