Moree mayor Katrina Humphries will continue to lead the Country Mayors' Association (CMA) after being re-elected as chair for a fourth term on Friday.
Cr Humphries, who was re-appointed to the role at the CMA's Annual General Meeting on Friday, November 8, said it was an honour to represent her fellow country mayors.
"Country Mayors has never been more relevant as it is now and I am so pleased that we represent a collective voice on many matters affecting councils outside of the metro areas," she said.
"I believe that our Association serves as one of the NSW Government's best contacts with the bush, coastal and regional areas and I am incredibly proud of my role in this."
Uralla mayor Michael Pearce was returned to the role of deputy chair, while the remainder of the executive of the CMA includes John Seymour (Coolamon Shire Council), Liz Campbell (Kempsey Shire Council), Cathy Redding (Narrabri Shire Council), Kathy Sajowitz (Oberon Council), Ken Keith OAM (Parkes Shire Council), Peter Petty (Tenterfield Shire Council).
A number of guest speakers joined CMA members at last week's meeting, including NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) deputy commissioner Rob Rogers, NSW RFS director of community resilience Corey Shackleton, Transport for NSW acting deputy secretary for regional and outer metropolitan Matt Fuller, Transport for NSW major property development and corporate real estate corporate services senior manager Peter Ryan, and Planning, Industry and Environment chief planner Gary White.
"The speakers we hosted at last week's meeting are testament to the clout and relevance of our membership," Cr Humphries said.
"With 494,028 hectares burnt out across the state since July 1, bush fire season is affecting many of our member councils so it was timely to hear from the NSW Rural Fire Service.
"It was also great to hear of about the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan which details the forward thinking for regional NSW for the movement of people and freight to meet customer needs and deliver responsive, innovative services for our communities.
"And of course, it was lovely to host a great friend of Country Mayors, Mr Gary White, the chief planner for NSW who spoke very passionately about the need for strategic planning for land use in our shires.
"Moree Plains is in fact amidst its consultation process for our Local Strategic Planning Statement this week so it was a great reminder of why it is essential to plan what we want for our futures."
The CMA represents almost 70 rural and coastal councils across New South Wales, with the group proving to be a formidable force in advocating for local government and issues that affect their communities.
"I am proud to be working with other driven country mayors and to be a part of a group that supports each other and our communities," Cr Humphries said.
"Over the years we have stood-up for our communities and citizens - earlier this year, we fought alongside our local state member Adam Marshall for rural workers in the energy sector and helped to save 182 jobs. We will continue this type of advocacy and drive our relationships with state and federal government representatives closer."
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall congratulated Cr Humphries on her recent re-election, and said she would help keep the focus on the issues facing the region and country councils.
"Katrina has proven herself a fierce and passionate advocate for her patch over many years and I have no doubt she will continue bring that same ethic to her role as the voice for mayors right across country NSW," he said.
"Having Katrina speaking up and speaking out on behalf of all country NSW mayors is good for the bush and helps highlight issues of concern to her city counterparts and also state and federal governments.
"I wish Katrina every success for her fourth term in the chair.
"Katrina and Mick will make a great team leading the organisation and its's wonderful to have the two leaders of mayors across country NSW in our region."