New Oberon Mayor Mark Kellam discusses what the future of Oberon looks like

NEW MAYOR: Cr Mark Kellam was voted in as mayor in December. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN
NEW MAYOR: Cr Mark Kellam was voted in as mayor in December. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN

"I was quite honoured and recognise the challenges that come with being mayor of Oberon."

At its December 30, 2021 Ordinary Meeting, Council held its election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor which saw councillor Mark Kellam elected unopposed to the position of Mayor and councillor Andrew McKibbin elected to the position of Deputy Mayor.

Mr Kellam said he was honoured to be voted in as mayor but recognises that there are some challenges coming his way.

"There are quite a few big things we need to do in this LGA to set it up for the future," he said.

According to Mr Kellam, these include but are not limited to, replacing the sewerage treatment plant, building a library and community centre and creating a large sporting complex.

"Because Oberon is a small town that is actually growing, we need to make sure we have these facilities in place," he said.

"These are all big projects for our small town and these only came about because of the grants from the fire, floods and pandemic and we have to make the most of them."

Mr Kellam was elected in 2017, became deputy in 2019 before being voted in as mayor undisputed in December 2021.

"If I was asked [why he decided to run for council] five or six years ago, I would've said that I didn't think I would ever be on council, but I was asked by separate people, so I attended council meetings and did my research and then decided to run and to my own surprise I got on," he said.

In his term as mayor, Mr Kellam would like to achieve all the infrastructure projects that he spoke about as well as tackle some other larger issues.

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"We have to look at plan regulations for the LGA and need to look at the rate structure because the state government is likely to change this and we need to be prepared, but these will take a long time and there will be a lot of community consultation," he said.

"Aside from being more effective, we also need to look at our daily operations, how we fix roads, potholes, our water and infrastructure, these things need to be front of mind because they are provided by our rate payers."

Mr Kellam said he was very happy with the team that got voted in, with a good mix of new and experienced councillors.

"I believe there are five new councillors and four returning, which gives us a good variety," he said.

In the next five years Mr Kellam would like to see an Oberon that has good, long lasting infrastructure and is way ahead in it's development.

"We are a growing town so I would like to see new business and housing in the area while keeping our strong rural flavour," he said.

"There is a lot of pressure on us with the price of housing, being so close to Sydney and people moving out here for a vastly better lifestyle.

"There is a lot going on in Oberon and I am ready to take on the challenge."