After serving the Kingborough community since 2014, Richard Atkinson announced his resignation from council on Monday, August 12, stating that he has taken a new position which is incompatible with the demands required for being a councillor.
The State Electoral Commissioner has been advised and eligible candidates will be notified this week, with a recount for Mr Atkinson’s seat expected to be conducted on Monday, August 26.
“I want to thank the people who voted me onto Council in 2014 and 2018, who agreed with
the values that I hold and who put their trust in me to represent their community,” Mr Atkinson said in his address.
Mr Atkinson also stated that he is proud of some of the achievements he has seen from council, specifically referencing climate change, marriage equality, harmful gambling, plastic pollution and Aboriginal recognition.
“I believe that the council must take care to prioritise communal good over individual interest and believe Kingborough is a better place if we share our resources.
“The Council that I leave is more diverse in age and gender than the one I first watched before I was elected,” said Mr Atkinson who hopes to see that trend continue.
The Mayor of Kingborough Cr Dean Winter commended Mr Atkinson on his contributions to council, despite the fact that their policies did not always align.
“Richard will leave a huge hole around our Council table.
“While his beliefs and mine have often been polar opposites, I have always enjoyed Richard’s articulate, well-reasoned contributions to debate.
“His methodical approach to decision-making made his arguments watertight and his meticulous preparation for meetings meant that every angle of an issue was properly assessed and considered.
“Richard has changed my mind on issues on numerous occasions.
“That is the mark of a truly effective representative in Local Government,” continued Mayor Winter.
“A highly respected Councillor by his fellow Councillors, Richard is also well regarded by our staff and has championed issues like good governance, cycling infrastructure and the environment for our community.
“We are disappointed to have lost Richard from around our Council table.
“We wish him all the best in the future and hope he will continue to be an active member of our community.”
Mayor Winter said the applause following Mr Atkinson’s address demonstrated the respect in the room.
Greens Member for Franklin, Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP said, “Richard Atkinson made a name for himself as a hard-working and sincere councillor, who offered sensible solutions.
“He earned respect for his work to improve the local environment and living conditions of people in the community.
"He will be very much missed.”
Deputy Mayor of Kingborough Cr Jo Westwood has also expressed her respect for Mr Atkinson and the contributions he has made to council.
“Cr Atkinson has been a wonderful colleague to work with.
“I have particularly appreciated the thoughtful and respectful contribution he has made to Council debate.
“I have learnt a lot from Cr Atkinson during my time on Council over the past ten months and wish him all very best for his future,” finished Deputy Mayor Westwood.
Pictured above: Mr Atkinson was often engaged with the local community and has been thanked for his sincere contributions after announcing his retirement on August 12.