Parkes Shire Councillors

Your elected representatives work for you

Councillors are your elected representatives for the Parkes Shire. They advocate on behalf of residents and work to assist them. Councillors are responsible for managing the Shire's assets, providing a wide range of services and facilities, and ensuring finances are allocated in the best interests of the whole community.

Elections

Under the Local Government Act 1993 council elections are held on the second Saturday in September every four years. By-elections are conducted periodically when a councillor vacancy occurs.Parkes Shire Council is made up of 10 councillors, one of whom is the Mayor.The position of Mayor and Deputy Mayor is elected by Councillors and serves a one year term.The NSW Electoral Commission held local Council elections for the Parkes Shire on Saturday, 10 September 2016.

Councillors

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Cr Ken Keith OAM (Mayor)

Mayor - First elected in 1983, serving 11th term on Council

Biography

Cr Keith was educated at Yanco Agricultural High School and the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, specialising in agricultural education.  He taught at Forbes and Windsor High Schools before returning home to the family farm.  Married to Susan they have three sons James, Max and Douglas and together manage a farm 6 kilometres west of Parkes. He runs a fine wool Merino sheep flock and a Merino X Border Leicester first cross lamb production enterprise.  Cr Keith also has a small minimum tillage cropping operation consisting of wheat, canola, barley, lupin and oats.

Cr Keith has a regional approach to issues previously serving as Centroc Chairman, E Division Representative and BLEG member and previously E-Division Representative to the NSW Local Government and Shires Association (now LGNSW).  He believes in regional co-operation to achieve the best outcomes, while still promoting all of the Shire of Parkes.  Cr Keith has encouraged Parkes Shire Council to remain non-political, considering each issue on its merit and reaching consensus in a harmonious manner where possible.

Cr Keith has always been an active sportsman and formerly dedicated much of his time to coaching and officiating cricket and soccer. He is a regular lap swimmer for fitness and enjoys playing a round of golf.

Cr Keith is a member of the Parkes Uniting Church and has been a member of the Mission Group which travels annually to East Timor. In 2010 Parkes Shire Community signed a friendship agreement with the village of Weberek.

Local Government Service
  • First elected as a Councillor on Parkes Shire Council in 1983
  • Currently in his 11th term (33 years) on Council
  • Served 17 terms as Deputy Mayor
  • Elected Mayor July 2008
  • Served as the Chairperson of the E Division of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and has twice served as the Chairperson of Centroc
Council Committees

The Mayor is automatically a member of all Council Committees

  • Access Committee
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Elders Advisory Committee
  • Elvis Festival Committee (Chair)
  • Heritage Advisory Committee
  • Henry Parkes Centre Management Committee (Chair)
  • Little Theatre Management Committee
  • Parkes Heated Pool Planning Committee
  • Parkes Shire Library Committee
  • Parkes Crime Prevention Committee
  • Parkes Pool Management Committee
  • Parkes Shire Cultural Advisory Committee
  • Parkes Sports Council
  • Parkes Traffic Committee
  • Plant Procurement and Replacement Committee
  • Road Naming Committee
  • Senior Staff Committee
  • Sporting Facilities Development Committee
  • Waste Facilities Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Bells Line Expressway Group
  • Central West Regional Organisation of Councils (CENTROC) (Previous Chair)
  • Country Mayors Association
  • Lachlan Area Command Community Safety Precinct Committee
  • Lachlan Health Council
  • Melbourne Brisbane Inland Rail Association (Chair)
  • Newell Highway Taskforce (Chair)
  • Parkes GP Working Group
  • Parkes Elvis Revival Inc. Committee
  • Parkes Life Action Group (Life Education)
  • Parkinson's NSW Inc. Parkes Support Group
  • Roads and Maritime Services Regional Consultative Committee
  • Rural Roads Advisory Group
  • Western Region Joint Regional Planning Panel
Other Community/Committee Involvement
  • Life Education Australia New South Wales Board Member
  • PA & H Association District Exhibit Chief Stewart
  • Parkes Australia Day Committee
  • Kionia Fellowship (Peak Hill Uniting Church East Timor Mission Group)
  • Trustee Parkes Showground Trust
Past Community Involvement
  • Birth to Kindergarten Committee
  • Bogan Gate Community Association
  • Bogan Gate Community Reserve (Trustee)
  • Centre for Employment, Training & Economic Development (Central West) Inc
  • Country Children's Services Association - Executive
  • Elvis Festival Organising Committee
  • IPWEA Roads and Transport Directorate Management Committee
  • Lachlan Region Tourist Association
  • Lachlan Soccer (Manager and Coach)
  • Parkes Bicentennial Committee
  • Parkes Centenary Committee
  • Parkes PA & H Association - Past President
  • Parkes Australia Day Committee
  • Parkes & District Junior Soccer Association (Coach and Referee)
  • Parkes & District Junior Cricket Association (Coach and Umpire)
  • Parkes 125th Anniversary Committee
  • Parkes Showground (Trustee)
  • Parkes Men's Shed Committee
  • Parkes/Forbes/Lachlan/Weddin Alliance (aka Mid Lachlan Alliance)
  • NSW Farmers Assoc - Parkes Branch
  • NSW Local Government GAS Advisory Committee
  • A.S. Western Districts Exhibit
  • Rural Fire Service Volunteer
  • Tichborne/Nelungaloo Landcare Group
Noteworthy Awards Received
  • Order of Australia Medal (awarded in 2014 for services to local government and community)
  • Olympic Torch Bearer
  • Country Children's Services Association's (CCSA) Colleen Gale Award
  • Paul Harris Fellow - Parkes Rotary Club
  • Parkes Shire Citizen of the Year 1988
  • Local Government and Shires Association Long Service Award (awarded in 2013)
  • Centenary Medal
  • Life Member of Parkes Sports Council
  • Life Member of Middleton Primary School P&C Association
Patron
  • Parkes Golf Club
  • Parkes Red Cross
  • Parkes Early Childhood Centre
  • Parkes and District Coradgery Picnic Races
  • Parkes PA & H Association
  • Parkes Sports Council
Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA)

Cr Ken Keith OAM - Chair

Support and recognition of the importance of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Railway (MBIR) has been increasing since the Inland Rail Symposium held in Parkes in June 2012, from which the below communiqué was decided upon:

For the betterment of the Nation, delegates to this Symposium call on the current and future Commonwealth Governments of Australia and the Queensland, Victorian and New South Wales Governments and local authorities along the route to set common timelines and budgets and commit to build the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, to future-standards, during the current decade.

Similar enthusiasm occurred after the 2006 conference, which resulted in the formation of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA), however the Alliance has not been active in recent years.

Parkes Shire Council and Moree Plains Councils are in the process of re-establishing the Alliance and have written to every Council along the route asking them to pass a Council resolution supporting the Inland Rail to date over 75% of the Councils have responded positively to this request. The Mayor of Parkes Cr Ken Keith is currently MBIRA chair and the Deputy Mayor of Moree Plains Cr Sue Price is the Deputy Chair.

Newell Highway Taskforce Committee

Cr Ken Keith OAM - Chair

Former Independent State MP for Dubbo Dawn Fardell convened a Newell Highway round table in Parkes in April 2009. The meeting launched a campaign for long overdue upgrade of the longest highway in NSW – the Newell.

The round table attracted strong political representation from all three tiers of government and key stakeholders such as police, Roads Maritime Service (RMS)  and the Newell Highway Promotions committee.

The meeting led to the development of the Newell Highway Taskforce - a harmonious committee with representatives from Local Government, RMS, Trucking Industry and NRMA. The vision for the Taskforce is "To achieve through Government action the development and upgrade of the Newell Highway to cater for increasing traffic volumes and to facilitate economic, social and environmental outcomes".

The Newell Highway Taskforce has achieved a number of significant successes working cooperatively with the various stakeholders and aims to complete more of these projects in the future. In May 2015 the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy was launched the Strategy takes a long, medium and short term view of the priorities for the development of the Newell.

Contact Details

Cr Ken Keith OAM

Phone: 0428 669 482

Email: council@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr Barbara Newton (Deputy Mayor)

Deputy Mayor - Elected 2004, serving forth term on Council.

Biography

Cr Newton is married to Rick (Rural GP). They have two adult children and four grandchildren and lived in Sydney until their move to Tullamore in 1998.

Previously Cr Newton worked as a registered nurse, nurse educator and Director of Nursing in Aged Care; and as a professional singer with the Australian Opera. Cr Newton is enjoying the challenges and diversity of being a Shire Councillor with an interest in representing the townships as well as the development of the Shire as a whole.

Council Committees
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Elvis Festival Committee
  • Henry Parkes Tourism Complex Management Committee
  • Heritage Advisory Committee
  • Little Theatre Management Committee (Chair)
  • Parkes Shire Council Risk Review Committee
  • Parkes Shire Cultural Advisory Committee (Chair)
  • Parkes Shire Library Committee (Chair)
  • Senior Staff Committee
  • Waste Facilities Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Bush Fire Management Committee (alternate)
  • Central West regional Organisation of Councils (CENTROC) (alternate)
  • Lachlan Area Command Community Safety Precinct Committee (alternate)
  • Lachlan Health Council (alternate)
  • Parkes Elvis Revival Inc. (alternate)
  • Mid Lachlan Bushfire Management Committee
  • Parkes Neighbourhood Centre Management Committee
  • Rural Roads Advisory Group
  • Rural Fire Service Senior management Liaison Committee
  • Scholarships Committee
  • Trundle Community Consultative Committee
  • Tullamore & District Community Consultative Committee
Other Community Involvement
  • Chair - Kooringle Fundraisers Inc.
  • Chair - Tullamore M.P.S. Health Council
 Past Community Involvement 
  • Art Acquisitions Committee
  • Birth to Kindergarten Committee
  • Board Member Kooringle Nursing Home
  • Central West Catchment Management Authority (alternate)
  • Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (alternate)
  • Music Development Committee
  • Parkes Shire Concert Band Committee
  • President and Secretary of Tullamore Community Consultative Committee
  • Trundle Community Consultative Committee
  • Tullamore Community Consultative Committee
Contact Details

Cr Barbara Newton

Phone: 0458 925 303

Fax: 02 6892 5302

Email: Barbara.Newton@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr Alan Ward

Councillor - First elected 2008, serving third term on Council

Biography

Cr Ward is a longtime resident of Parkes. Having been in local business successfully for the past 29 years, initially as a watchmaker and now selling workwear, sportswear and promotional items Cr Ward believes he brings good business acumen to the Council.

Married to Kate they have two sons, Ben and Matt. Cr Ward takes special interest in the areas of educational, medical and sporting facilities.  Cr Ward recognises the success and progress of the Parkes Shire and looks forward to a strong and exciting future for Parkes Shire and its communities.

Council Committees
  • Economic Development Committee (Chair)
  • Economic Development - Airport Sub Committee (Chair)
  • Heritage Advisory Committee (Chair)
  • Parkes Pool Management Committee
  • Plant Replacement and Procurement Committee
  • Senior Staff Committee
  • Waste Facilities Committee (Chair)
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Australian Airports Association and Aero Club
  • Australia Day Committee (Parkes)
  • Parkes Life Action Group (Life Education)
  • Parkes Chamber of Commerce
  • Western Regional Joint Regional Planning Panel
Other Community Involvement
  • Airports Owners Association
  • Parkes Action Club - Founding President
  • Parkes Aero Club
  • Parkes Apex Club - (President)
 Past Community Involvement 
  • Apex Australia National Service Director
  • Apex NSW District Governor
  • Apex NSW State Treasurer
  • Apex NSW State Compliance Chairman
  • Elvis Festival Committee
  • Central West Regional Organisation of Councils (CENTROC) (alternate)
  • Country Mayor's Association (alternate)
  • Lachlan Area Command Community Safety Precinct Committee (alternate)
  • Mid Lachlan Alliance (MLA) Committee (alternate)
  • Henry Parkes Centre Management Committee
  • Parkes Crime Prevention Committee
  • Parkes Elvis Revival Inc Committee
  • Risk Review Committee
  • Rural Roads Advisory Group
Contact Details

Cr Alan Ward

Phone: 02 6862 1335

Email: alan.ward@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr George Pratt

Councillor - Elected 2004, serving forth term on Council

Biography

Cr Pratt has lived and worked for the majority of his life in Parkes. He attended Parkes Public school and Parkes High school before taking up a mechanical apprenticeship for a local mechanic. In 1974 Cr Pratt applied and was accepted into the NSW Ambulance Service and in 1977 was appointed back to his home town Parkes where he remained until his retirement from the Service in 2002.

Cr Pratt has served on Council since 2004 which has proven to be very rewarding experience. Providing for the community and pushing for greater services are always on his agenda.

Council Committees
  • Access Committee (alternate)
  • Plant Procurement and Replacement Committee
  • Waste Facilities Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Bogan Gate Memorial Hall and Community Consultative Committee
  • Memorial Hill and Lookout Precinct Rejuvenation Committee
  • Parkes/Forbes/Lachlan Road Safety Steering Committee
  • Parkes Liquor Accord
  • Peak Hill Community Consultative Committee (alternate)
  • Trundle Community Consultative Committee (alternate)
  • Tullamore and District Community Consultative Committee (alternate)
Other Community Involvement
  • National Serviceman's Association
  • Parkes Antique Motor Club
  • Parkes SES Unit
  • Peak Hill Spit and Spud Committee
 Past Community Involvement 
  • Flood Mitigation in Trundle Area (Sunset Committee)
  • Parkes Crime Prevention Committee
  • Parkes & District Historical Society
  • Youth Committee
Contact Details

Cr George Pratt

Phone: 02 6863 4804

Email: council@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr Ken McGrath

Councillor - First elected in 1992, serving sixth term on Council

Biography

Cr McGrath is a lifelong resident of Parkes, married to Sue with eight children.

Self-employed Cr McGrath started his earthmoving business over 25 years ago, which now also includes landscaping. The business employs his wife and two sons.

Some of Council's operations relate to the business that Cr McGrath conducts and he feels that he can well represent the community in this area. Cr McGrath believes that children should be given the opportunities to get the best start in life. He is proud of the Parkes community and enjoys being part of it.

Council Committees
  • Access Committee (Chair)
  • Elders Advisory Committee (Chair)
  • Parkes Heated Pool Planning Committee
  • Parkes Traffic Committee (Chair)
  • Plant Procurement & Replacement Committee
  • Road Naming Committee
  • Waste Facilities Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Memorial Hill and Lookout Precinct Rejuvenation Committee
  • Parkes Liquor Accord (alternate)
  • Parkes/Forbes/Lachlan Road Safety Steering Committee (alternate)
  • Rural Roads Advisory Committee
  • Youth Committee
Other Community Involvement
  •  Parkes PCYC
 Past Community Involvement 
  • Airport Owner's Association
  • Skateboard Rink Project
Contact Details

Cr Ken McGrath

Phone: 02 6862 1947

Fax: 02 6863 4635

Email: council@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr Louise O'Leary

Councillor - First elected in 2008, serving third term on Council

Biography

Cr O'Leary was born, raised and schooled in Parkes before moving to Peak Hill in 1983. Married to Danny O'Leary in 1985 they have four children Jason, Amy, Alicia (Dec) and Erin. She is a qualified, enrolled nurse employed at the Peak Hill Health Service.

Actively involved in community life, Cr O'Leary brings an opportunity for community members to have their say and to improve facilities and services throughout the Shire.

Council Committees
  • Heritage Advisory Committee
  • Parkes Shire Library Committee
  • Parkes Sports Council (Alternate)
  • Road Naming Committee
  • Sporting Facilities Development Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Australia Day Committee (Peak Hill)
  • Elders Advisory Committee
  • Peak Hill Business and Tourism Inc.
  • Peak Hill Community Consultative Committee
  • Peak Hill Sports Council
  • Rural Roads Advisory Group
Other Noteworthy Achievement
  • 1996 - Westpac Banking Corporation Managing Director's Staff Community Awards - Recognition of personal service to the community.
  • 1998 - Westpac Banking Corporation Managing Director's Staff Community Awards - Bronze Award winner for outstanding commitment to SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support).
  • 1999 - Westpac Banking Corporation - NSW Community 2000 Awards - Silver award winner for outstanding commitment to SANDS Aust and NSW.
  • 2000 - Westpac Banking Corporation - Membership to the Westpac Olympic Circle for outstanding performance.
  • 2000 - Westpac Banking Corporation - Appreciation for contribution at an Olympic Banking site during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
  • 2000 - Westpac Banking Corporation - NSW Network Development Project - Recognition of hard work, dedication, commitment and professionalism.
  • 2000 - Westpac Banking Corporation - Certificate of 20 years service.
  • 2002 - Western Institute of TAFE NSW - Awarded Highest Achievement in Community Services Nursing Assistant Certificate III.
  • 2002 - Western Institute of TAFE NSW - Awarded the Community Services, Health, Tourism & Hospitality Faculty Award
 Past Community Involvement 
  • Board member - Peak Hill Ex Services & Citizens Club
  • Coordinator - Establishment of Parkes Bereavement Group SANDS
  • Coordinator - Peak Hill Central School Canteen
  • Executive position - Peak Hill Pre-School
  • Member - St Joseph's Peak Hill Parents & Friends
  • Member - Peak Hill Healthy Communities Consultative Committee
  • Peak Hill Central P&C
  • Peak Hill Little Athletics Executive Member and Coach
  • Peak Hill Meals on Wheels Chairperson
  • Peak Hill Business & Tourism
  • Parkes Pool Planning Committee
Contact Details

Cr Louise O'Leary

Phone: 02 6869 1227

Email: council@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr Patricia Smith

Councillor - Elected 2008, serving third term on Council

Biography

Cr Smith was born in Parkes and has lived in the Parkes Shire all her life. Married to Robert they raised two sons Brett and Glenn and they are now enjoying their grandchildren. After running a long established family business in Parkes they are now retired.

Cr Smith acknowledges the importance of listening to members of the community and looks forward to further Shire growth and prosperity.

Council Committees
  • Parkes Pool Management Committee
  • Parkes Shire Cultural Advisory Committee
  • Parkes Shire Library Committee
  • Road Naming Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Meals on Wheels Committee
  • Memorial Hill and Lookout Precinct Rejuvenation Committee (Chair)
  • Parkes Early Childhood Centre Committee
  • Parkes/Forbes Community Tenancy Scheme
  • Parkes Life Action Group (Life Education)
  • Parkes Pool Management Committee
  • Youth Committee
 Past Community Involvement 
  • Birth to Kindergarten Committee
  • Henry Parkes Centre Management Committee
  • Music and Art Committee
Contact Details

Cr Patrica Smith

Phone: 02 6862 4295 

Mobile: 0427 623 187

Email: council@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr William Jayet

Councillor - First elected 2016, serving first term on Council

Biography

Cr Jayet was born and raised in Forbes and moved to Parkes in 1978 where he commenced work as Advertising Manager with the Parkes Champion Post.

Nine years later he was appointed to the position of journalist and in July 2016, retired as Senior Journalist  - a career spanning 36 years with the local paper.

With partner Lindy Farrant (Director Parkes Early Childhood Centre), they raised their daughter Hannah and son Drew here. Both attended Parkes Public and Parkes High Schools.

Cr Jayet has been actively involved with the Parkes M and D Society for many years, performing in some of the society's most memorable productions. He won a prestigious Canberra Area Theatre Award (CAT) for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Fagin in Oliver.

Cr Jayet is a Regional Judge on the Canberra Area Theatre Committee.

Cr Jayet aims for future progression of the vibrant Parkes Shire. He has a passion for the arts and is keen to see the shire progress in this regard with the ultimate long-term goal of the establishment of a Parkes Civic Centre.

Council Committees
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Parkes Heated Pool Committee
  • Parkes Pool Management Committee
  • Parkes Shire Cultural Advisory Committee
  • Road Naming Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Life Education Centre Committee
  • Little Theatre Management Committee
  • Northparkes Mine Community Consultative Committee
  • Parkes/Forbes Community Tenancy Scheme
  • Scholarships Committee
 Past Community Involvement 
  • Parkes Coradgery and Diggers Picnic Race Committee (Secretary).
  • Parkes Public School P and C (secretary/president).
  • Parkes Early Childhood Centre art show committee.
  • Parkes Swimming Club.
  • Parkes M and D Society.
  • Opera at The Dish (vice-president).
  • Parkes High School P and C Committee.
Contact Details

Cr William Jayet

Phone: 0432 791 765

Fax: 02 6866 1267

Email: council@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr Neil Westcott

Councillor - First elected in 2016, serving first term on Council

Biography

Councillor Westcott is a lifelong resident of Alectown, where he runs a family farming enterprise with his wife Alison. Together they have three children, Jessica, Hayden and Rachael.

In 2013 he and Alison pursued a joint venture to purchase Parkes Stationery & Office Furniture, which has given them an intimate understanding of the pressures facing two significant farming and retail business assets.

Cr Westcott has been an active member of the community, most notably a life member and former president of the M & D Society, and an active member of the Parkes Uniting Church.

Cr Westcott is passionate about the Arts and helping the younger generation achieve in this area. He has been involved in countless productions at the theatre and has also been heavily engaged with the organisation events such as the Elvis Gospel Service, Opera at the Dish and Reading Day.

As a fifth generation farmer he has a sympathetic ear to the farming community and endeavours to be a clear and concise voice for them. As a business man he hopes to be a valuable contributor to the retail community of Parkes during his term as councillor.

Council Committees
  • CBD Precinct Vibrancy Committee
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Parkes Shire Cultural Advisory Committee
  • Plant Procurement and Replacement Committee
  • Risk Review Committee
  • Rural Road Advisory Group
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Arts Out West Committee
  • Bush Fire Management Committee
  • Lachlan Valley Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee
  • Parkes Chamber of Commerce (alternate)
  • Rural Fire Service Senior Management Liason Committee
Contact Details

Cr Neil Westcott

Phone: 02 6862 2071

Fax: 02 6862 3946

Email: council@parkes.nsw.gov.au

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Cr Wally Biles

Councillor - First elected 2016, serving first term on Council

Biography

Cr Biles was born in Brewarrina and his family moved to the central west in 1970.

He completed his education through Kinross Wolaroi and the Forbes High School, where he later started his career in Education.

1978 Cr Biles completed his Diploma in Aboriginal Education through Sydney University.

Cr Biles went on to have a career with the Regional Parkes based Roads & Traffic Authority with is work taking him all over NSW and out to remote centers.

In 2003 Cr Biles entered the NSW Police Force and is currently stationed in Parkes with his duties throughout the Lachlan Area Command.

In his first term with Council he looks forward to the challenges and states he will learn the position of Councillor and will be listening to all communities and putting forward the issues.

Cr Bile’s previous positons will assist him in pushing harder for a whole community approach to ensure Health, Education, sporting bodies and the elderly are well planned for.

Parkes is now home for Cr Biles and he would like to see the community grow and be a destination place for the future.

Council Committees
  • Parkes Heated Pool Planning Committee
  • Charles Sturt University (CSU) Regional Consultative Committee
  • Life Education Centre Committee
  • Northparkes Mines Consultative Committee
  • Scholarships Committee
  • Youth Committee
Council Representative/Delegate
  • Arts Out West Committee
  • Bush Fire Management Committee
  • Lachlan Valley Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee
  • Parkes Chamber of Commerce (alternate)
  • Rural Fire Service Senior Management Liason Committee
Contact Details

Cr Walter (Wally) Biles

Phone: 0429 629 977

Fax: 02 6862 3946

Email: wally.biles@parkes.nsw.gov.au