Lismore City Council's councillors, until this week. Photo: Lismore City Council
Lismore City Council's councillors, until this week. Photo: Lismore City Council

RESIGNATIONS: Why two councillors are quitting Lismore

TWO Lismore councillors presented their resignations this week.

Councillor Greg Bennett has resigned, effective August 13. He has been in council for the last eight years.

Mr Bennett has been planning to move out of NSW with his family for a while.

Yesterday, on a lengthy post on his Facebook page, Gianpiero Battista confirmed his resignation after 12 years on the role.

Mr Battista’s resignation was effective yesterday.

On that post, he said he enjoyed “most of my last 12 years as councillor (...) but feel I can no longer effectively be the change which is why I have made this decision.”

Lismore City Council management and staff thanked both councillors for their leadership over their years of service and wished them well for the future.

“Councillors Battista and Bennett have decided to stand aside now rather than wait another 12 months,” council confirmed.

A NSW Office of Local Government spokesman confirmed that there will be no by-election in Lismore this year due to the resignations.

“As part of the postponement of the 2020 local government elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic, councils are not required to hold by-elections to fill a councillor vacancy for the remainder of the council term (September 4, 2021),” he said.

“A decision to resign from civic office is a matter for the individual councillor.”

Acting Lismore Mayor Darlene Cook said she was saddened by Mr Battista’s resignation.

“He did foreshadow some time ago that he, like Greg Bennett, would not contest the elections that were to be held next month,” she said.

“I want to acknowledge publicly Gianpiero’s contribution to council and the community over the past 12 years – whatever issue he was dealing with he put his heart and soul into doing the best he could for this community that I know he loves.

“You just had to admire the strength of his passion to better this community and to help it grow and prosper.”

Cr Elly Bird also thanked Mr Battista his years of service to the community.

“Remaining councillors will need to work together to manage the challenges we have before us and I remain strongly committed to council and to our community,” she said.

Cr Neil Marks said the role is tough and it takes its toll on the individual and the family.

“I respect a person when they know there time has come. He and Greg should be proud of the way they have served their community,” he said.