Councillor profiles - Peta Pinson Mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Article image - Councillor profiles - Peta Pinson Mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Port Macquarie Hastings Council is located an easy four and a half hour drive from Sydney and is recognised as a premier tourist hotspot.  The area is currently experiencing high levels of growth due to the various opportunities for work and enjoyment of retirement due to the year round temperate climate.

Having a favourite part of our region is like having a favourite child, you just cannot choose one. Port Macquarie Hastings has beautiful rivers, lakes and of course beaches, along with some of the most fertile agricultural land in New South Wales.  We are most definitely spoilt for choice in our community.

Being part of the process
I am very new to Local Government and have been in the role of Mayor since August 2017.  I ran in the September 2016 election and was not elected.  My opportunity came as the result of a by-election held in July 2017 after the then Mayor resigned unexpectedly.  I campaigned for a second time due to a strong desire to be part of the bigger picture for our community.  

I believe improvement and change are led from the top and the roles of the mayor and councillors are to facilitate through decisions on how a community evolves and is shaped into the future. I wanted to be a part of that process.

The challenges of rapid growth
Before being elected I was the Managing Director for Stabilcorp in the civil construction industry and have a good understanding of road rehabilitation and maintenance.  

I was very proactive in the area of road safety initiatives designed to reduce fatalities and serious injuries associated with rural and country roads.  

Since being elected I have committed to the role of Mayor in a full time capacity and resigned from the role of Managing Director.
I invest a lot of time in working and holiday time is my down time.  I am a huge fan of cruising, meeting new people and exploring the world.  Put me on a large cruise liner and I am one happy lady!
The key challenge faced by the Port Macquarie Hastings region is the rapid growth we are experiencing.  With growth comes increased pressure on service delivery and it creates traffic issues on our road network.

A culture of improvement
At the March 2018 Council meeting, Council adopted a Business Improvement Strategy. The strategy will assist us to focus on embedding a continuous improvement culture and it will help us to define the improvement processes to be used.

Sustained business improvement will only occur if the culture of the organisation shifts and accepts that improvement is part of the way we conduct business. This will result in more efficient and effective services being delivered for our community and at the end of the day that is why we are all here.

Most progressive council award
My personal success was being elected the first ever female Mayor of Port Macquarie Hastings Council which is a huge honor for me.  
From an organisation success perspective, it was certainly when Port Macquarie Hastings Council was announced the recipient of the prestigious AR Bluett Memorial Award at the Local Government Conference in December 2017.  Accepting the prized award with General Manager Craig Swift-McNair on behalf of our community was definitely a highlight to begin my Council career on and one that will not be forgotten quickly.

Great things ahead
I would say that being involved in shaping a regions future is a great part of the job.  The best part is also getting to know the community at an intimate level.  Great things happen when people come together for the common good and I see that on a daily basis.
On the worst aspects of being a councillor: It is early days for me... I will get back to you all on that one so ask me again at the end of my term!

I am only one voice and one vote, however I would like to look back when my time is done and know that I was part of many solid decision making processes that delivered and achieved great things for our region.