Councillor Ian Bye was tonight re-elected as Mayor of Wellington Shire for a third consecutive term – having held mayoral office in 2022 and 2023.
Joining Cr Bye is Councillor Gayle Maher, who has been elected as Deputy Mayor for the final year of the current Council.
Cr Ian Bye was first elected to Council in 2016, becoming Deputy Mayor in 2018 before being elected Mayor in 2022 and again in 2023.
During his tenure as Mayor, Cr Bye said he was proud of the incredible outcomes Council has achieved, none more so than progressing The Middle of Everywhere as the best place to live, work and invest in Gippsland. Cr Bye’s passion for his community has seen him lead conversations across all levels of government, advocating for funding, critical community infrastructure and investment through new and renewable energy.
Born and bred in Sale, Cr Bye continues his support of the Wellington community, bringing extensive knowledge and experience gained from his upbringing and education in Gippsland to his work as a Councillor.
Cr Bye is an accomplished Accountant with 31 years’ experience, including previously owning a local accounting business. Beyond his personal achievements, he is a dedicated family man, supported by his wife, two daughters and his fun-loving dog, Harvey. If you are local to Sale, you have probably seen Harvey leading Mayor Bye on a lap around Lake Guthridge in recent years.
In response to his re-election, Cr Bye said he was honoured to again be given the opportunity to guide Wellington, particularly during the final year of a Council term. Cr Bye extended a heartfelt thank you to his family and fellow councillors for their support as he steps into a third term as Mayor.
“I would like to thank my fellow councillors and the Wellington community for their support during my time as Mayor. It really is a great privilege to be trusted to lead this Council to deliver its strategic priorities.
“I believe that The Middle of Everywhere really is the best place to live and I hold our community close to my heart. During this term, my commitment is to advocate for Wellington’s future, ensuring that we use every opportunity to drive positive change and sustainable growth in the region” Cr Bye said.
Reflecting on the challenges faced in recent years, Cr Bye expressed his pride at how Council worked collaboratively to overcome them.
“I am looking forward to working with our community, celebrating local events and focusing on key initiatives such a renewable energy investment, improved early years infrastructure, local job creation, housing and infrastructure development including overseeing the Aqua Energy Leisure Centre redevelopment in Sale” Cr Bye said.
Newly elected Deputy Mayor, Cr Gayle Maher is a dedicated member of her local community and has been a strong advocate for coastal communities for over 15 years.
Elected to represent the Coastal Ward in 2016, Cr Maher is in her second term as councillor.
Married to a local tradesman and a mother of three, Cr Maher remains busy supporting both her family and her community.
Cr Maher’s priorities remain advocating for coastal communities, ensuring viability into the future, particularly taking into consideration the impacts of climate change.
Upon being elected as Deputy Mayor, Cr Maher thanked outgoing Deputy Mayor Cr John Tatterson and said she was excited by the important work ahead.
“I want to thank my fellow councillors for their support throughout my time on Council. I look forward to leading our community through the next 12 months, and I’m ready to jump head on into some big challenges and opportunities on behalf of our community.
“I am looking forward to working closely with Mayor Bye to help deliver what matters most for our region – with a strong focus on promoting Wellington as a contemporary Shire that puts its community first” Cr Maher said.