Cowra Shire elects nine Councillors for a 4-year term to direct Council's affairs in line with the Local Government Act. Their decisions direct local policy and the distribution of Council funds. Their responsibility to the electorate is to ensure Council's policies and objectives are consistent with its broader vision and obligations to the community.
Speak to a Councillor
Councillors are available to listen to residents' concerns and represent those concerns to Council. Each Councillor has areas of particular expertise and interest and they all participate in a number of Council committees and meetings. Individual Councillors can be contacted on any matter through the Council by phoning (02) 6340 2000.
Councillor Bill West was first elected as Mayor in September 2008 and has been re-elected each year since then.
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Councillor Bill West - Mayor
Cr Bill West, a fifth generation farmer, describes himself as a "user-friendly" Councillor keen to convey the community's needs and views to Council.
Cr West served as Deputy Mayor from 27 March 2004 to 26 September 2005. He chairs the Saleyards Committee and the Cowra CBD Traffic Management and Redevelopment Working Party and is Council's representative on the Bells Line Expressway Group and CENTROC committees.
Cr West is also a member of the Cherry Tree Avenue Foundation, the Japanese Garden Maintenance Foundation, the Cowra Community Development Trust Committee, the Lachlan Regional Transport Committee Inc, the Canobolas LAC Community Safety Precinct Committee and the Western Region Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Cr West was elected Mayor in September 2008 and was most recently re-elected Mayor in September 2014.
Cr West can be contacted on 0429 990 085.
Councillor Judi Smith - Deputy Mayor
Cr Judi Smith was born in Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney University in 1972 and a Dip Ed in 1973. She married Sandy Morrison in 1974 and has two children, Rhys and Dane.
Cr Smith moved to Woodstock in 1978 where she still lives. She teaches Japanese and English at Cowra High School and has taught various courses at TAFE in Cowra. Cr Smith and her husband also run a poll Dorset stud.
Cr Smith was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 as Deputy Mayor. She is Chair of Cowra's Tidy Towns Committee, is a member of the Cowra Tourism Board, Cowra Showground Trust and the Cowra Youth Council.
With special responsibility for the communities of Darby's Falls and Woodstock, Cr Smith is passionate about the need to provide suitable recreation, training and job opportunities for our young people.
Judi can be contacted on tel. (02) 6345 0331.
Councillor Ian Brown
Cr Ian Brown is a Pharmacist, a keen sportsman and has been a Cowra Shire Councillor since 1995.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Cowra, Cowra Golf Club, Cowra Bowling Club, Chairman of Cowra Community Chest Committee and the Cowra Peace Bell Committee.
Cr Brown can be contacted on 0423 763 232.
Councillor Bruce Miller
Cr Bruce Miller was first elected to Council in September 1991, served two years a Deputy Mayor from 1992-1994, then as Mayor for 14 years from 1994-2008.
Cr Miller is a Past President of the Shires Association of NSW, having served as President for four years from 2007-2011. He is a current board member of Local Government NSW and the Australian Local Government Association. Bruce is also a Director on a number of company boards.
He has a keen interest in all aspects of Council activities, is passionate about the Cowra community and in seeing Cowra Shire being developed and promoted to its full potential and ensuring our residents get full value out of their elected representatives and their rates and charges dollar.
Cr Miller also has a keen interest in environmental issues and is an avid sports fan.
Cr Miller attends the Council Offices regularly to discuss issues and attend to his duties and civic responsibilities. He is a member of a number Council committees and is Chair of the Traffic Committee.
Bruce can be contacted on tel. 0427 300 144.
Councillor Jack Mallon
Cr Jack Mallon is a district farmer and grazier who has been a member of Cowra Shire Council for several terms since 1983.
Cr Mallon has occupied various offices both within and outside Council. He was recently re-appointed for the fourth term to the Minister for Health's Advisory Committee on fluoridation of public water supplies, as the sole representative of NSW Local Government. Former Ministerial appointments include those to Wyangala Park State Recreation Area Trust and the Lachlan River Advisory Committee at Forbes. He served nine years as a member of Central Tablelands Water, including a term as Chairman.
He finds it is a perennial challenge to maintain some degree of balance and equity in the allocation of resources as well as representing people in the resolution of the "bread and butter" issues which emerge on a regular basis. He was re-elected in September 2012.
Cr Mallon can be contacted on (02) 6345 0363.
Councillor Kevin Wright
Cr Kevin Wright was first elected to Cowra Council in February 2013 and is by profession a stock and station agent.
With investments in Cowra, Cr Wright grew up in the Shire and was for a number of years a well-known farmer in the district.
He retains a strong interest in rural affairs and is also Chairman of the Board for the Cowra Retirement Village.
He can be contacted on 0428 434 877.
Councillor Peter Wright
Cr Peter Wright was born in Cowra in 1956. He completed the Higher School Certificate (HSC) in Cowra in 1974 followed by TAFE, also in town.
Cr Wright commenced his farming business in 1975 and has continued this pursuit to the present.
Cr Wright is involved in NSW Farmers, Cowra Public P&C and the Rural Financial Counselling Service, which he has been involved in since 1993.
Cr Wright was first elected in 2008; was re-elected in 2012, and can be contacted on 0429 326 067.
Councillor Ray Walsh
Cr Ray Walsh began his working life as a farmer in the Cowra district, both as farm owner and farm manager. He retired in June 2012 and now lives in Cowra.
Cr Walsh was first elected to Council in September 2008 and re-elected in 2012. In his role as a Councillor, he has had the following responsibilities:
• Contact Councillor for Gooloogong and Billimari areas.
• Council delegate to Cowra Tourism Corporation and Chairman of the Board.
• Council delegate to the NRM committee.
• Chair of the Cowra/Gooloogong Flood Plain Committee.
• Member of the Shire Depot Development Working Party.
Outside of Council, Cr Walsh is an active community member. He is President of Cowra Legacy and a member of the RSL; Chair of St Raphaels Parish Finance Committee; a member of The Historical Society; grandpa to five; and occasionally fits in a hit of golf.
Cr Walsh believes that local government is the most important tier of government because it provides many of the essential services for the Shire residents. "When I stood for Council, I wanted to try and improve the delivery of these services to the community" Cr Walsh said.
Ray can be contacted on tel. (02) 6342 3548.
Councillor Ruth Fagan. B Bus. JP
Ruth Fagan has extensive advisory board experience, in a State and regional capacity. She has been involved in an extensive range of industries within the region, including tourism, agriculture, small business and cultural planning. A board Member of Tourism NSW for 10 years and a Director of Regional Arts NSW, Ruth is presently a State appointed member of the Joint Regional Planning Panel for the Western Region and a Director of the Central West Community College (now VERTO) since March 2006.
Trained as a journalist and a resident of Cowra for 32 years, Ruth has been involved in the print media, operated a number of small businesses in Cowra including a gift shop, a motel and a dress shop. She has held a number of community leadership roles, including Chair of the Cowra Tourism Corporation and previously served as a Councillor and Deputy Mayor on Cowra Shire Council. Ruth was also the Western Regional Manager for the NSW Cancer Council.
Ruth holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree from Charles Sturt University.
Her Councillor roles include Chair of the Festival of International Understanding, Chair of the Cultural Council, delegate to Central NSW Libraries Committee, The 70th Anniversary of the POW Breakout and the Cowra Peace Precinct.
She is a member of the Cowra Showground, Paceway and Race Course Trust and an Executive of the Cowra Business Chamber.
She is a Director of a Consulting Media Business Clear Connections.
Cr Ruth Fagan was first elected in 2004 and again in 2012.
Her contact no. is 0429 123 736.