Councillor profiles – Mayor Lilliane Brady OAM Cobar Council
Cobar Shire is situated in the centre of New South Wales (NSW) at the crossroads of the Barrier Highway, which forms part of the east-west link between Sydney and Perth, and the Kidman Way, which runs north-south from Bourke to Jerilderie.
The Shire covers an area of 45,609 sq km, approximately two-thirds the size of Tasmania.
A thriving mining district, the Shire’s prosperity is built on copper, lead, silver, zinc, gold, along with a flourishing pastoral industry.
There are many attractions to entice tourists to visit. The Heritage Walk and Miner’s Heritage Park, as well as Great Cobar Copper mine, and Great Cobar Open Cut (now a refreshing swimming hole for hot summer days), celebrate the history of the region.
Mt Grenfell historic site is testimony to Cobar’s first inhabitants, the Wongaibon people, with rock art, ochre pits and scarred trees telling their stories.
What drew you to a career in Local Government?
“I arrived in Cobar 49 years ago, when I arrived here, I thought it was the most god forsaken town I had ever seen and I didn’t want to get out of the car, but when I met members of the community, I soon discovered that it is one of the best places on Earth.
“What I love most about the community of Cobar is that they are so very caring, kind and get behind all fundraising in our small town. It’s just the best community.
“I have been on Council for 37 years and I have been Mayor for 17 years, I am now serving in my 18th year as Mayor and I am the longest serving female Mayor in NSW.
What do you enjoy most about being on Council?
“Being involved in the community, not every day is the same and a lot of the things you do have nothing to do with being a Councillor.
“Being Mayor is my only job however I have racehorses and I enjoy gardening.
How did you become Mayor of Cobar?
“I first joined Council in 1974, when our member the Hon. Jack Wrenshaw MP told me that I should stand for Council and that I was a very strong woman and that I had principals.
“I stood at a by-election and was voted in and local government has been part of my life ever since.
What are you proud of?
“I was the first female President of the Western Division, I was on the Executive Committee for Local Government, I am an recipient of the Women Out West Award, I am an OAM recipient, I am the first ever recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award from Local Government and I am the first Cobar member to hold a position on the Executive Committee of the Mines and Energy
What has challenged you as Mayor and what would you still like to achieve?
“Water security and aging infrastructure present the greatest challenges for Council and we are currently updating our Water Treatment Plant with a full replacement.
“The district feels all the problems associated with Fly-In-Fly-Out and Drive-In-Drive-Out workforces. I feel they are ruining our town.
“We lack health services and hospital facilities.
“Council is currently looking into creating a new Industrial Area for the town and investigating the option of a Mining School.
“The worst part of the job is not having access to funding for projects that are necessary to our community.
“These are the things that I would like to achieve before I retire:
Complete piping of the 130km of the Albert Priest Channel;
Mining School in Cobar;
Wool Track Road completely sealed.”