Councillors, Management Staff and Employees are deeply saddened by the passing of Mayor John McMahon who passed away during the evening of Tuesday 14 July 2015 due to a heart condition.
A Funeral and Requiem Mass will be held for Mayor John McMahon at 1.00pm on Thursday 23 July, at the St Ignatius’ Church, Queen Street Oberon.
Mayor John McMahon was first elected as a Councillor in 1983. After serving for the first four year term he then had two terms away from Council before being re-elected in 1995. He had remained on Council since that time, serving as an elected Councillor for 24 years.
John was first elected as Deputy Mayor in 2006 and held this position until September 2012 when he was elected unopposed as Mayor and was then re-elected as Mayor unopposed in 2013 and 2014.
During his time as a Councillor and then as Mayor John was well known as a strong supporter of the Oberon Community. He actively campaigned to ensure Oberon remains as a stand alone Local Government entity and his opposition to forced amalgamations in Local Government was widely known. During his term as Mayor he has attended many community and regional meetings putting forward Oberon’s position as a strong independent Local Council.
As Mayor, John saw many long term projects come to fruition. After almost 12 years the new Local Environmental Plan was completed. The development of a new Plan has now stimulated growth in the area with the opportunity for new subdivision of residential land.
He was instrumental in planning the Oberon Sesquicentenary Celebrations and was particularly pleased when the then Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, agreed to his personal invitation to attend the Oberon Celebrations. More recently John participated on the planning committee for the 100 years of World War One commemorations held earlier this year and had the pleasure of Officially Unveiling the “Light Horse” at the Oberon RSL Sub-Branch to mark the occasion.
A proud moment for John was attending the Official Opening of the Columbia Homes Oberon Village as part of the Official Party. The newly constructed 66 bed aged care facility was a project that Oberon Council had lobbied for over many years and it was gratifying for John to be able to continue the work of previous Mayors and see this project completed and for our elderly residents to be able to have care in our Community for their final years.
John has spoken on many occasions about the growth of tourism in our region and its importance as an economic driver for our region. At the Official Opening of Lake Oberon for recreational non-motorised boating John spoke of the great benefit of tourism and the amazing natural assets that our region has to offer. John was also a strong advocate for the development of the re-opening of Oberon Tarana Heritage Rail as a tourism attraction.
John’s rural background saw him remain committed as a delegate Councillor to the Upper Macquarie County Council weed authority for 24 years. John was a member of Rural Fire Service, Native Dog Brigade for 50 years, after joined in 1965. During this time he serviced as Captain for 10 year 2000 to 2010, Permit Officer for 9 years, Senior Deputy Captain for 3 years and received a 40 year long service medal in 2012. John was a tireless advocate for all Oberon RFS Volunteers and will be sorely missed by the RFS community, Volunteers and Staff.
John served as a delegate to many local organisations including the Oberon Business and Tourism Association, (formerly the Oberon Business Association and the Oberon Plateau Tourism Association), Oberon Arts Council and also engaged with community groups and organisations including the Oberon Show Society, Burraga and District Community Association, Burraga Ag Bureau, Black Springs Progress Association and met with members of the O’Connell community. John enjoyed regular visits to the Schools around the Shire and frequently attended meetings of the newly formed Oberon Youth Council where he was a mentor the Youth Councillors.
On a regional level he was a delegate to the Bicentennial Crossing Alliance, Central Tablelands Strategic Alliance Internal Audit Committee, Chifley Zone - Community Safety Precinct Committee, CENTROC and the Joint Regional Planning Panel (alternate delegate).
John will be remembered for his statesmanship, strong leadership, his kindness and well considered manner. Many tributes have been made since John’s passing about his honesty, hard work and dedication to the Oberon Community, his passion for the local area and his role as both a Councillor and Mayor.