Senator Lee Rhiannon and NSW MP David Shoebridge joined forces today to thank former Wagga Wagga City Deputy Mayor Ray Goodlass for his ground breaking work as a councillor and as a community activist and to wish him all the best in his retirement.
“I heard the news that Ray Goodlass has had to retire from Wagga Wagga City Council due to ill-health with great sadness,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“As Deputy-Mayor, chair of Council’s Environment and Community Services Standing Committee and a member of the Planning and Infrastructure Standing Committees, Ray built alliances and achieved outcomes that brought many local benefits.
“Ray, elected to the Council in September 2008, was the first Greens member to be elected to a council in the Riverina. As a Greens member, and an openly gay man living with his partner, this is one of many firsts that Ray has notched up.
“I have personally enjoyed working with Ray immensely. He is in touch with his community and deeply committed to advancing environmental protection and social justice causes.
“Ray has been incredibly hard working, combining his Council duties with work for a number of community causes and his activities in the Greens
“As a Council delegate to several external committees including the Riverina Water and Riverina Regional Libraries he was able to build cooperation with diverse groups across the region. He was also the chair of NSW Public Libraries South West zone.
Mr Shoebridge, who as spokesperson for local government worked closely with Ray, joined Senator Rhiannon in thanking Ray for his tireless work.
“I know that Ray put tremendous effort into Wagga Wagga City Council’s Environmental Sustainability Plan. He wanted it to have teeth and he was deeply committed to the city becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible.
“He was also working on his green ’shopping list’ that included establishing an Environmental Advisory Committee, community gardens, an effective cycle plan, footpaths for all new sub-divisions and retrofitting them in existing suburbs.
“The Greens at a state and national level also have much to thank Ray for. He was NSW secretary from 2005 to 2009, and was the Greens NSW Gay and Lesbian spokesperson.
“Ray was the first openly gay person to be elected to Wagga Wagga City Council.
“He is also the founding Secretary of the Riverina Greens.
“Lee and I wish Ray a speedy recovery and we look forward to catching up shortly,” Mr Shoebridge said.