Keith Fagg resigns as City of Greater Geelong Mayor

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Cr Fagg

The following comments were delivered by City of Greater Geelong mayor and G21 deputy chair Cr Keith Fagg today (16 August 2013) to a media conference at City Hall:

It is with profound regret that I announce my resignation as Mayor of the City of Greater Geelong, effective today.

I was extremely humbled and privileged to have been the first directly elected Mayor of the City and thank the great many people who supported me, both before and during my time as Mayor.

While I have done my best to embrace the many challenges the position has presented, I am now faced with personal health concerns which, after seeking professional advice, mean I cannot continue in this role.

I am disappointed that this will not allow me to properly fulfil the confidence of the people of Geelong. However, health and family must come first and I do sincerely hope that my position is understood and appreciated. I ask that both my own and my family’s privacy is respected at this time.

My commitment to the Geelong community remains as strong as ever and I hope to further contribute in other ways in due course.

In everything I have endeavoured to do and say as Mayor, I have tried to build up our community and help people feel good about themselves. We live in a great place and have much to be proud of and to look forward to within the Greater Geelong community. Council’s new vision statement sets the scene for a bright future.

As Mayor, I have been privileged to lead and speak for the Greater Geelong community at key times, such as after the Ford announcement, and hope that I have properly articulated the community’s thoughts at such times.

I am proud of a number of key initiatives that Council has recently commenced, such as Enterprise Geelong and the CBD Taskforce. There are many talented people involved in leading these initiatives and I fully expect these programs will deliver great outcomes for our community.

The strengthening of ties between the City and Deakin University is also a highlight. In addition to the high quality education and research capacity our university provides, Deakin will play an important role in the future of our economy.

Future development opportunities of our Port and Avalon Airport also present great economic prospects and underpin our growing importance as Victoria’s second capital city.

The decision to locate the DisabilityCare Australia National Office in Geelong was also a major community achievement, which will provide benefits at many levels, most importantly the people who receive the services provided. The City played an important leadership role in this. Together with the TAC, Geelong is becoming a centre of excellence in disability and insurance.

I have become a great supporter of G21 as many of the issues we face in Greater Geelong have to looked at on a regional basis. The fact that G21 is highly regarded nationally as a stand-out model of regional collaboration and co-operation speaks volumes for its effectiveness and is worthy of continued support.

As Mayor, I have been privileged to witness the width and depth of Geelong’s community spirit in action. That spirit and generosity has shone through time and time again in the significant issues that have arisen in recent months. This has again been demonstrated most recently in the tremendous support shown for Casey Tutungi and his family. May this long continue.

The City of Greater Geelong is a great organisation doing great things and providing quality services and has my respect and admiration. I was always impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of those I met in all parts of the organisation. I would like to personally thank the great team of the City of Greater Geelong.

I look forward to next chapter for the City of Greater Geelong and I wish the Council and the new Mayor well. I ask all in the community to get behind them and support them as they look to advance our great City to become the best in Australia for economic opportunity, community engagement and outstanding lifestyle.

Do I support the concept of a directly elected Mayor for Geelong? Absolutely. Can the model be improved? Yes, of course.

My only intention and motivation in standing for the position of Mayor was to serve the Greater Geelong community and try to do some good, values instilled in me for day one from my wonderful parents.

In this new role as directly elected Mayor, I have done my best to lead a values based Council. For me, the role of Mayor has never been about power or authority - it is about servant leadership and community service.

Finally, I would like to thank all those with whom I have worked in this role, including my fellow Councillors, our talented CEO Stephen Griffin, senior managers, officers of the City and the staff within the Mayor and Councillors office, who have been superb, particularly Amanda Lee and Tim McDonald.

Also, to my family and friends for their tremendous support throughout this journey, particularly my wonderful wife Heather who surrounds me with love every moment of every day.

My enthusiasm and passion for my home town remains deep. We are Geelong and Geelong people do care. They look you in the eye when they walk down the street. Geelong people get involved and want to help. Their random acts of kindness are more than random.

Geelong people want the best for their community, as I do. I wish you all well.