Tony Reneker, Leeton Shire Council’s Mayor Councillor, moved to Leeton in 2000. Before this, he had 35 years in the NSW Police and was attached to Griffith Local Area Command, retiring five years ago as Chief Inspector. He had geographical responsibilities for Leeton, Narrandera, and other areas and so knows the region well. Having worked all over NSW and experiencing other places, he feels confident in saying how good the Murrumbidgee area is.
Where do you work and your title?
I’m the Mayor of Leeton Shire Council, and I’m a second-term Councillor. I’ve been on the Council here for eight years, and I’ve been the Mayor since December 2021. I’m on a number of committees too. Some of these include the Country Mayors Association and Whitton and Yanco Town Improvement Committees. Plus, ones that relate to water and the environment, including Leeton Flood Plain Management Committee, Leeton Weeds Committee, Bushfire Management Committee, Fivebough and Tuckerbil Wetlands Advisory Committee, Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation, and Executive Murrumbidgee Irrigation Strategic Liaison.
What made you decide to work in the field?
I think it was two things: firstly, I don’t like people to whinge about things and do nothing about it, and I think if you want to change things, then you have to be involved. Secondly, I was motivated to be involved in the Council and to try to effect positive change for the benefit of the Leeton Shire residents.
What do you love most about what you do?
Lots of things; it’s an enjoyable job. Because of the role, you have an opportunity to be a positive influence in the community. You meet people from all walks of life and get to know them pretty well. And you meet some fascinating people and have your mind opened to different points of view.
What is something surprising about your role / business?
The realisation that you can’t please everybody, and you never will, and you wouldn’t be able to survive if you’re trying to do that. I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that all decisions have to be made to the benefit of the whole community rather than individuals. If you keep that in mind, then things become clearer and are easier to decide upon.
What do you love about the Murrumbidgee?
The Murrumbidgee is the heartbeat of the area and our community – economically, culturally, and also for our well-being. Without the Murrumbidgee, there would be no industry, no town. It’s nature at its best, and it provides a lifestyle that we take for granted sometimes – and it’s a great lifestyle we have here – and if it wasn’t for the Murrumbidgee, we wouldn’t have that. I’ve worked all over NSW [Tony worked with the NSW Police for 35 years], which is why I feel so confident in saying how good this area is because I’ve had that previous experience in other places.