The City of Greater Geelong’s newest councillor says climate change will be one of her top priorities as she settles into the role.
Elise Wilkinson has been sworn in as the official replacement for former mayor Stephanie Asher, who resigned in July ahead of a move to Melbourne.
Ms Wilkinson, who will represent the Bellarine Ward, told Geelong Broadcasters nothing has changed since she campaigned on a Climate First plaftorm at the 2020 council election.
“It’s definitely still a climate emergency,” Cr Wilkinson said.
“That’s definitely something that underpins my outlook on the world.
“There are definitely challenges ahead .. but I think (we have) some people with really great intentions, and a really clear knowledge base and sense of social justice.”
Ms Wilkinson, a social worker with Barwon Health, said she had no inkling that she would end up as a CoGG councillor almost three years on from the election.
“With the fantastic thing that preferential voting is, I knew that I was a contender but it hadn’t occurred to me that I migh actually get over the line,” she said.
The newly minted councillor said she was yet to receive a congratulatory call from her pre-decessor.
“I’m imagining that Stephanie is very busy in the next chapter of her life, however I’m sure at some point we’ll have a chat.”
Cr Wilkinson said she was aware of the exodus of staff from the City of Greater Geelong but she noted that there was a positive side to change.
“I actually think that there’s some really exciting new faces bringing some incredible wisdom and knowledge to council.
“There are people there with big hearts and strong minds so I’m hoping that there will alkso be some settling amongst the churn.”