Brian Crook sworn in to Colac Otway Shire Council
September 11, 2018
Councillor Brian Crook was sworn in to Colac Otway Shire Council Thursday 30 August after winning the election countback to fill the extraordinary vacancy created by Cr Terry Woodcroft’s resignation.
Returning to Council for a fifth term, Cr Crook said he’s looking forward to getting back into local government and making a contribution to the Colac Otway community.
“I’m working with Council officers to ensure I’m briefed on details of community issues and Council business from the past couple of years,” he said.
“This Council is working in a changed environment of rate capping. As a former Councillor that raises concerns around long term financial sustainability and I’m keen to discuss how Council is planning for that.”
Cr Crook also highlighted the future of Colanda as an issue he was interested in discussing with his fellow Councillors.
“The potential closure of Colanda presents an opportunity to advocate for our community, particularly with regard to accommodation. That might be crisis accommodation or transitional housing - workers accommodation has also been an issue in the area.
“The infrastructure at Colanda is already there and with a little government investment we could bring things up to par. The window of opportunity is there now to try and do something,” he said.
A teacher, Cr Crook said he is interested in providing access to further education and training for young people in the Colac Otway community.
“With the advent of many free TAFE courses the circumstances are favourable for our community. It’s also the time for Council to work with local business and industry to assess their training needs so we are gearing young people for local jobs and pathways to further education,” he said.
In his previous terms with Council, Cr Crook had supported the development of sport and recreation infrastructure in communities across Colac Otway shire and he said he hoped to continue to advocate for facilities across the region.
“It’s great to see progress and development on plans at various sporting facilities across the shire; I look forward to being involved in furthering those plans and hopefully seeing projects come to fruition.
“Carrying over from my last term on Council, it’s also positive to see the current government has upgraded rail crossings and that when the line is upgraded between Waurn Ponds and Geelong, we’ll have many more train services to the south west.
“An improved train service provides better access for visitors to the region. We have many small and vibrant communities through Colac Otway Shire and I’m interested in pursuing potential tourism opportunities for both our inland and coastal communities,” he said.