60. Lilliane Brady Mayor of Cobar on Community, the Impact of Mining on a Town and Having Your Own Identity

Being part a community can bring you so many advantages in life, there will always be people to share in your joy and help you through hard times. There are no better people to tell you what being an active part of a community is like than miners, with a lot of mines being in remote locations it is the community that will become your family.

Each Wednesday, join me, Peter Finn, managing director of FACE Contracting, as I navigate the ups and downs of the mining industry with forward-thinking professionals from all walks of life. If you’re involved in the mining industry in any way – whether you’re a lifer or a high-school student looking to make the leap – Full Production is the podcast for you.

On today’s episode of Full Production I have a chat with Lilliane Brady, the Mayor of Cobar. Lillian has been an active member of the cobar community since her arrival to the town 49 years ago. She recently was awarded a lifetime achievement award for being the longest serving Mayor in New South Wales, an astounding 18 years. Lillian has had a massive impact on Cobar and she has a lot of stories about the town and the incredible people that have lived in it.

Lillian shares with us this episode:

  • Her early years and how her Grandmother shaped her from a little girl
  • What she felt the first time she arrived in Cobar
  • How being a strong woman has served her well in her life and career
  • The motivation behind the Lilliane Brady Village nursing home
  • Her life in Cobar with her husband Dr Alan Brady and her drive to be seen as independent
  • The struggles she had when first standing for council in Cobar
  • Why a tip gave her a good payout on a horse race
  • Her horse she has with the goal of having it in the Melbourne Cup
  • Why the changes in mining have changed the town
  • The reason Cobar is a great place to bring up kids

Links:

Lilliane Brady – Cobar Shire Council

Lilliane Brady on A Current Affair

Lilliane Brady – LinkedIn

Transcript:

G’day, miners.  This is Peter Finn.  Welcome to Full Production.  

[00:00:09]

In this podcast, Pete talks everything mining.  

[00:00:13]

A podcast dedicated to the mining industry in the Australian Pacific Region.

[00:00:19]

From production to development and most importantly employment opportunities of the industry’s biggest project.  And here is your host, Peter Finn.

[00:00:30]

G’day, ladies and gents.  Welcome to this week’s episode of Full Production.  Long standing mayor of Cobar, Lilliane Brady, joins Pete on the show today.  Lilliane is a firecracker and at 88 years of age, she is New South Wales’s longest serving mayor with 18 years in the position.  During the conversation, Lilliane takes us back to her earlier days, the evolution of Cobar, how the mining industry has changed, and what drives Lilliane to fight the good fight for Cobar and the mining future.  Ladies and gents, Peter Finn and the mayor of Cobar, Lilliane Brady.

[00:01:15]

P:  Lilliane, welcome to the podcast.

[00:01:19]

L:  Thank you.  I think I got dragged into this, but anyway, never mind.

[00:01:24]

P:  Appreciate it.  Um, we have been talking about it for a little while.  This is your first podcast. [00:01:27]

L:  Yes, and the last.  

[00:01:29]

P:  And the last.  One and only. I’ll make sure um.  I feel privileged that I’m getting Lilliane Brady  for her first and only. Um, you are more a bit of TV star these days on the conversation.  

[00:01:42]

L:  We’ll go past that.  

[00:01:44]

P:  Was it nerve wracking?

[00:01:46]

L:  Nerve Wracking.  I was nervous and I never want to do it again.  It is not for me. I’m here for [00:01:53] not for that.

[00:01:54]

P:  A bit like I have got a head for radio so I do the podcasting bit, and then TV was and do a really good job.  I presume the lady made you feel comfortable.

[00:02:02]

L:  She did.  She did.

[00:02:03]

P:  Let’s get into it.  You currently sit here as the mayor of Cobar.  As far as I recall, being a kid growing up in Cobar, that mom used to be a cleaner here.  I know the chambers well. I never thought I would be back here to tell you the truth. I’ve been back here for a couple of meetings with yourself and a few councilors.  That’s probably my furthest memory as a 7 or 8 year old. I’m not too sure what you remember of me. I was in the Cobar police report.

[00:02:29]

L:  I can remember you were a good kid.  I would say otherwise if it was, and your mother was very good.  [00:02:37] was very good.

[00:02:38]

P:  If you don’t mind me asking, what’s your age?  How old are you?

[00:02:40]

L:  88 on the 29th of December.

[00:02:43]

P:  Cool.  You’ve got an award just recently.  i remember you showed me last time. You are one the of the longest serving mayors.

[00:02:49]

L:  I’m the longest serving mayor in New South Wales.

[00:02:52]

P:  And how many years is that in total?  

[00:02:53]

L:  18 years.  

[00:02:54]

P:  Wow, how many years are you going to go for?  

[00:02:56]

L:  Uh, probably a month.  

[00:03:00]

P:  You are cutting yourself short there, mate.  The reason why me and you have been reconnected as I’ve gotten older is obviously I’m the new person coming through and came to give back to my community of Cobar because it gave me so much growing up as a kid, and thanks to people like yourself and a lot of people like I mentioned like Barry Knight, the list goes on for how many community members we have.  But before i get into the passion that me and you have mutually for this region, let alone Cobar, I probably want to talk about how you grew up. So if you had to call a place home, where was home for you growing up as a kid?

[00:03:35]

L:  Lake Angelica.  

[00:03:36]

P:  Lake Angelica.  

[00:03:37]

L:  Yeah, and I was an only child, grew up with lots of cousins, lots of love, um, my mother was always sick uh and died when I was 16.  So um it wasn’t good.

[00:03:53]

P:  No, no, and take your time with this sort of stuff because I get it.  i get it. It is all so, um, some topics that you talk about all the time so I can appreciate that.  Did you ever say to your mom and dad why didn’t you live in New Avalon so you could have been born in the Cobar Shire?

[00:04:07]

L:  Uh, well, actually, you mentioned Cobar and we would say oh my God, fancy living there.  Uh, that was what we used to say in Lake Angelica. We regarded Cobar as the other end of the world, and I went to school there and I went on to be an accountant um.  Then I went to Sydney. I had a great life, married a doctor, had 3 good kids, and then had me trouble with the kids, except that one is in Perth, one is in uh Cairns and one is in Sydney.  But they have got to live their own lives. So um and when coming to Cobar, I can remember getting out, wouldn’t get out of the car when we pulled up. I’m not saying I’m gettin out at this.  I said most freaking awful place I’ve ever seen in my life, you know. I nearly died, um.

[00:05:04]

P:  It wasn’t summer time, was it?  Like now.

[00:05:06]

L:  November.  

[00:05:07]

P:  Nice and warm then.  

[00:05:09]

L:  And I moved from a beautiful home in Strathfield, not far from the [00:05:14] where the kids went to school, uh but I was the one that wanted my children to have some country living.  They were just city kids, you know, and the boy. I had one 18. I had one 15, one 9 and the baby. So I had a really extended family, so one was going to nursing, the other was going back to school, going back to Strathfield, and the baby was 2.  So here I had arrived in Cobar. Oh my god. It was a shock.

[00:05:54]

P:  Just to wind it back a bit, what did your mom and dad do?  Were you on the farm?

[00:05:58]

L:  No, my father was a builder.  Yeah.

[00:06:02]

P:  When you went to Sydney, is there where you met Doc Brady?  

[00:06:06]

L:  No, I met him later on.  I met him one night in a pub and I thought he was the most rudest man I’d ever met and um, anyway.  

[00:06:14]

P:  Isn’t that funny how they come around?  I hope to get my wife on the podcast. She would probably throw me under the bus too.  

[00:06:21]

L:  But anyway, he and Alan said oh look, just, you know, we are only going to stay here 12 months, which we were.  We were going to go to Narrow Broad. We actually bought a place in Narrow Broad. I was here about. I remember the policeman coming when we arrived in Cobar and picked the baby, um, [00:06:46] up and put him in the police car and went all around Cobar.  And I thought that’s unusual, and it was, I suppose I was here 2 weeks when I realized what a wonderful town this was.

[00:06:59]

P:  What year was that?

[00:07:01]

L:  That was 49 years ago.

[00:07:04]

P:  Wow, do you remember that day pretty clearly?  

[00:07:06]

L:  19th of November, sure do.  1964. I’ll never forget it.  

[00:07:10]

P:  Um, so obviously Cobar then became home, um, and the children grew up here as well as.  

[00:07:18]

L:  My boy, son grew up in Cobar.  The other girl, she was, went on to uni from [00:07:24] although she came back.  Her father missed her, and he had a heart attack. She didn’t like it, and uh I had gone to school at Santa.  So i went down and the headmistress I went to school with and she said if you take her away, there will be no room to bring her back.  And I said well I’m taking her away because she is missing her father, and uh she actually got two percent of the state and is a principal of a college.  So came from Cobar, has gone.

[00:07:58]

P:  No doubt about it. There’s a lot of people that have gone a long way.  I’m sure we could sit here and tell stories nearly the whole podcast of all the people uh, also, uh, your son, what’s his name again?

[00:08:08]

L:  Alan.  

[00:08:09]

P:  Alan, he is also a CEO or general manager of.

[00:08:13]

L:  Red Path. [00:08:14]

P:  Red Path, [00:08:15] division.  We have crossed paths and we have got similar mates.  We have obviously been mining kids. I haven’t had a chance to catch up with him.  

[00:08:22]

L:  Well, he has got a big project at Orange.  

[00:08:24]

P:  Yeah, I think you might have told me that last time we caught up.  [00:08:27] at the moment. As we know, mining is going through an upswing at the moment and we have got North Parks going for a big lift, um, West Wallow is going underground, Dover has just gone underground and Orange is obviously going through another lift as well and a lot of infrastructure um and a decent sized project underway there, so yeah.  The industry in general, which is a nice change, because I’m sure you have seen the industry go up and down over its time. What was like when you arrived? Was it okay the industry?

[00:08:54]

L:  Just [00:08:55] the mines.  

[00:08:56]

P:  Was the town pretty bustling?  

[00:09:00]

L:  Beau Brennan was then the president and he controlled the town with a hard fist.  He owned a lot of things in town, you know, a good story. He came to town as a carpenter, and then practically owned the half of Cobar.  He was very much a man’s man. He objected to my standing for council, um which was a joke. Jack Grenchel was our member, and um he said to me where there was an issue out at the mines, had a strike.  And I believed they were right, and I stood up and said so. And the doctor’s wife wasn’t supposed to do that. So he told me to stand and then my election came up, and about five stood. Um, I never told my husband until the morning before that.  

[00:09:53]

P:  You told Alan the morning before you were going to run for council.  I thought him being a doctor he might have heard the whisper.

[00:09:59]

L:  No. the miners put me up.  They did everything. My husband didn’t help me, so um but Bill Brennan did go to him and tell him that I shouldn’t be standing.  

[00:10:10]

P:  Um, let’s talk about, let’s talk about Alan.  So Alan has obviously passed now. The only story I got told about Doc Brayden’s is dad was telling me he used to play football, and Doc was around as an older fellow and he was still operating.  And dad said I started playing football because I watched Tommy Gordon and all these guys play football. And um it must have been Tommy because Tommy is an electrician by trade and so is Dad. It was at a barbecue having beers one night, and he said if you get injured or cut yourself, old Doc Brady won’t use anesthetic.  He will just stitch you up, no pain killer. If you are playing footie and got hurt. I was thinking to myself I really don’t want to get hurt and get a cut and go to the doctor and use a needle on me.

[00:10:50]

L:  I think that’s.

[00:10:52]

P:  I’m not saying it is true.  That’s my only story or memory I’ve got of him.

[00:10:55]

L:  It is, but I think Tommy pushed the buttons.  

[00:11:01]

P:  I am sure he would have had a few scars too, Tommy.

[00:11:03]

L:  I actually liked Tommy.  Um, you know, he was a bit of a scallywag, but I like him.  He actually got into a bit of trouble not long ago, and you know we had to sort of bend the rules with the reference.  

[00:11:17]

P:  Good character though.  He does mean well. He has always done.  

[00:11:20]

L:  Well, probably if I wanted help, Tommy would be the first person I would go to.

[00:11:25]

P:  Fully agree.  Um, sorry to get off topic.  Tommy will probably be glad he got a mention in the podcast, but I would be interested to hear about Alan and I guess obviously he meant a lot to you and to the family but I guess he was also you know.  How was his reaction when you joined council and life in general? Obviously he backed you to a certain degree to keep on doing what you were doing.

[00:11:45]

L:  He did.  As I said, when it first happened, I came.  The day I was elected, he never helped me. He went out to the pub that night, and I thought you bastard.  But anyway, that day I came home and the boys said how did I do because I thought about what I had done, and they said you should have done it.  So I ran over and told me Mr. Broom, and Mr Brennan, I met him. He lived next door to Mr. Broom and he said have you heard the results, and I said no.  And he said well don’t be disappointed. i said I can assure you I won’t be disappointed, Mr. Brennan, but when I came out, he had heard about it. Um, and then my husband came home and said how did you go.  I said um, but he was supportive of me. Bill Brennan always called me Dr. Brady’s wife, always, you know. I was never ever, and it upset me because, you know, I had a life of my own. My grandmother was a very strong woman.  She had a, um, a blind husband and she ran a property, and she was tough, my grandmother, but very good to me. Little red headed lady, tough as they come, but very good to me. She reared me, um, and she said I want you always, never, ever, stop saying no to people.  She said there’s got to be, you have got to learn to say no, and I didn’t know whether she was talking about sex or what, but anyway. But you know, she was tough. She was good. She held the family together and everyone loved grandma even though we all thought, you know, but she was marvelous to me.

[00:13:32]

P:  Is she someone that you look back on in life that gave you the foundations to take on more?  

[00:13:36]

L:  Yeah, she was strong, um, you know and had definite ideas.  She, she made us to go church whether we wanted to or not, you know.  We learned. The boys used to get drunk growing up, but anyway, but grandma said you had to go so you went.  So she was a big part of my life, um, and she told me there was nothing I couldn’t do and that when you die, you should leave something behind.  She always told me that.

[00:14:10]

P:  Yeah, it has a true effect.  I think your legacy, when you talk about your legacy [00:14:15] um I guess, you know, I know for me running a business that um I’m only able to because of my partner and my Rachael.  She always backs me and makes me uh in the best mindset possible to be able to achieve as much as I can and do as much as I can, and I guess that reflects to you, people like your grandma and Alan to enable to enable you to make a difference and leave a legacy today.

[00:14:39]

L:  As I said, Mr. Brennan, and my husband would tell me to get over it.  It didn’t mean a thing, just don’t worry about it. So when I became mayor, [00:14:52] came up.  He was minister for [00:14:55].

[00:14:55]

P:  Were you council for long before you became mayor?

[00:14:57]

L:  Yes, I was.  I was councillor 12 years and I resigned 8.  And there was an issue in the village and I came back [00:15:07] the vote and then I came back and I got mayor at the same time.  And Barry Knight was the councillor, and he said to me put your name down for mayor. I said don’t be stupid. I know nothing about being mayor.  He said well, I’ve had more mayors in my shop. He had his shop.

[00:15:27]

P:  Yeah, butcher.  Right?

[00:15:30]

L:  No, he was down next to the butcher.  He had a little, a little grocery store, and he said I’ve had more mayors in my shop than [00:15:41].  I never. So we came to the count, and [00:15:48] dropped out first and they kept falling out. And Peter, I was the last one standing, knew nothing about it, and I went into Don Ranslan and burst out crying.  I said this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. And he said [00:16:07]. So that was Barry Knight, and Barry is a wonderful person. But.

[00:16:13]

P:  Done a really good job.  I had Barry on the podcast and we talked about his moral path, his building.  

[00:16:19]

L:  Oh wonderful.  No one else could have done that than Barry.  But anyway, when we were at this, thing, uh the commissioner said the mayoress.  I said no, my husband is the mayoress. I’m the mayor, and you should have looked at him.  He had black eyes, my husband, and he looked and I knew he was [00:16:42]. I said suck it up, get over it.  So that was always my [00:16:51].

[00:16:52]

P:  He definitely knew where you were in the scheme of things, I take it, and it must have felt good for you too to have a bit of um value or purpose in the community as well in somewhere you call home today.  

[00:17:02]

L:  Look, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  I would. I’m never happy like our home. I could come home to Cobar.

[00:17:11]

P:  Do you think that 8 years off recharged your batteries to come back bigger and stronger?

[00:17:15]

L:  I only came back because of the nursing home.

[00:17:17]

P:  Has that always been?  It is actually called the Lilliane Brady.

[00:17:20]

L:  Village.

[00:17:21]

P:  Was that called the Lilliane Brady Village originally?  

[00:17:25]

L:  Yeah.

[00:17:27]

P:  It has always been there.  I didn’t know if it had changed name or got upgraded or whatever.

[00:17:29]

L:  No.

[00:17:30]

P:  You were a councilor and they had already named the Lilliane Brady Village after you for your 12 years in council.

[00:17:36]

L:  But I built the village.

[00:17:38]

P:  So you were having some, a fair bit of impact.

[00:17:41]

L:  All they, an old man was.  

[00:17:43]

P:  What made you do that?

[00:17:45]

L:  An old man used to come and give me vegetables.  Funny thing is some, we were talking about. He would always bring vegetables, and he went into the nursing home.  He went into the hospital and there was no nursing home here, none. And he died. Apparently, they sent him away and he died.  And my husband came home and said that Jimmy Haupin had died in Orange. And I said I’m going up to ask him why he let that old man die alone, so I went up and uh I said why did you send that dear, old man.  He said it is our policy. I said then you stick to your policy and we will build a new one. And he went ah, you never tell a red headed Irishman, so I went with 14 ladies. We called ourselves the Geriatric Fundraising Committee.  We did everything. We kangaroo shooted. We had Mardi Gras [00:18:43] he went to [00:18:46] and I was going down this [00:18:47], got the parts and [00:18:49]. So we came home and had it, and our general manager at the time had a beard and we had bought.  I will never forget Bruce Mitchell, which you remember Bruce Mitchell.

[00:18:58]

P:  I can’t say I do, no.  

[00:19:00]

L:  Bruce was uh mayor for Pearson for a while.  And we had a very fast machine. Well, it didn’t work very well.  I had, honestly, the hair. Oh, [00:19:16] out the front, but we had some great times building that.  i think there are only about five or [00:19:25], so that’s how the nursing home got built.

[00:19:27]

P:  You must have raised money to get it off the ground, too.

[00:19:29]

L:  70,000 we had to raise, but my husband was very generous to me.  The last night I had to raise 70,000 by the money, and I remember I was 2,000 something short.  [00:19:45] was wonderful.

[00:19:45]

P:  Old man, he has [00:19:48] come and do a couple of shows.

[00:19:50]

L:  He was one.  He did all things for nothing.  And the Saturday night, we were 2,000 something short and he paid for it.  You know, but we used to kangaroo shoot, ox and I could tell you a story, um, uh.  We, Alan, everyone who went into the um for surgery, Alan would ask them for [00:20:17].  So I went to Cornelius and said if I send you some boxes down, would you make a [00:20:23].  I’m trying to build the nursing home. She said yes, so they were doing that for nothing. So when it started to go, i went down to the races and I was in the members down with the race book, 10 dollars a ticket.  This gentleman came up and said you shouldn’t have a race book in the members end, and I said I’m trying to build a nursing home in Cobar. And he said Cobar. It was CO Green. I never heard of CO Green. It was the first time I had ever been to the races, and he took a ticket and he went and got this gorgeous looking man, white hair, white shoes, and he said I was born in Cobar and gave me 100 dollars and told me he would ring me every [00:21:16] a bit, but I was never allowed to [00:21:20].  I thought, what bullshit he is trying to tell me, and when i went to my husband, I said I met this strange man. he gave me 100 dollars and said when he rings up to surgery, it will say Mr. George because he doesn’t want to embarrass me. He said what’s his name. i said George Freeman. Do you know who George Freeman?

[00:21:43]

P:  I’ve heard his name.  Yeah, Sydney character.  I’ve watched. Is it a Gold Mile, the King’s Cross?

[00:21:51]

L:  He is.  The two lovely sons live up in Brisbane now, but the other two live in Sydney.  They were mixed up and are still mixed up with the horses. He would [00:22:06], and he ended up tipping me and I won $27,000 dollars from his tips.  The only knew about it was Jimmy Manns and I because we weren’t going to tell anyone.

[00:22:21]

P:  That’s a story and a half.

[00:22:22]

L:  Actually I was doing Delcare, the first person to do Delcare real intensive, and this chap from the Herald came up to do a story on me.  It wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about [00:22:38]. It was about George Freeman, and front page of the Herald was Lilliane Brady [00:22:43].  

[00:22:44]

P:  There you go.

[00:22:45]

L:  Sitting on [00:22:46].  Nothing about the [00:22:48].  It was about the story about George Freeman, and he had died.  He said that the boys still, if I need any money, the good boys, not the other.  And the good boys went to King’s. He was very strict with [00:23:04].

[00:23:06]

P:  I wish I knew more about George Freeman right now because I’ve heard his name before in the movies.  

[00:23:10]

L:  He was the one that pulled up apparently or stood up uh Todd Cotton.  You wouldn’t.

[00:23:18]

P:  No, I don’t.  I’m a bit too.  

[00:23:22]

L:  No, apparently.  I didn’t know. I never had horses then.  This priest and all put in a good horse for a bad horse or, yeah, the horse was no good and they colored it up and everything and put a good horse in.  Anyway, George Freeman was behind that.

[00:23:42]

P:  We have got a family connection Warwick Farm.  It is obviously popular in the horses, and I’ve always been told and I’m not saying George Freeman was like this at all but he might have been.  Obviously he knew a lot of the horses, but I’ve always been told that the only honest horse to ever be raced in Australia is the Melbourne Cup. Everything else is probably, something you don’t know about, um.  

[00:24:07]

L:  That’s probably true, too.  I wouldn’t ever bet in the Melbourne Cup.  Actually, this afternoon I’ve got a horse. It cost me, it was three quarters of a million we paid for it.  

[00:24:17]

P:  You get a few horses now.  

[00:24:21]

L:  Eight, eight now.  I bought two in the last few days and then [00:24:27].  But anyway. Anyway, it will be set for. It left [00:24:35] today.  It will be set for. It will come home whenever. It will go into quarantine for 2 weeks, and the chap that trains [00:24:45].  [00:24:45]

P:  You have got a decent trainer there.  You must be going for the Melbourne Cup yourself, are you?  

[00:24:48]

L:  Exactly.  

[00:24:50]

P:  Are you.  You are trying to get a horse in the cup.

[00:24:51]

L:  And then that’s the pinnacle when I can retire.  

[00:24:55]

P:  What’s the name of your horse?

[00:24:57]

L:  Now Whiney.  [00:24:59]

P:  Now Whiney.  Everyone has probably got their pens and paper out now writing this down.  Lilliane Brady, the mayor of Cobar, has got a horse in the Melbourne Cup. [00:25:08]

L:  I had a good horse at the moment.  I had a Fly. It is over in western Australia.  We have got a few over there.

[00:25:18]

P:  Speaking about horses, this is [00:25:21] into this conversation.  I actually was meant to catch up with Jarred Marsden today, but he stood me up.  He will listen to this too, so he will know he stood me up. But I know he does a race event every year, and I think I help that with sponsorship and you know races for country communities.  We have 2 races now in Cobar, is that right, every year.

[00:25:40]

L:  One is our main one, and the other is more as a picnic race.

[00:25:43]

P:  The family day.

[00:25:44]

L:  Yes.  

[00:25:45]

P:  That’s the one Jarred ones.  Is that right? [00:25:47]

L:  He runs them both.  Yeah. Jarred has got a couple of horses.  [00:25:51]

P:  He is the president of [00:25:52], another conversation he missed out on.

[00:25:54]

L:  Yeah, he is.  He is good, um.  He is a good councillor.  

[00:26:00]

P:  You and him see eye to eye all the time.  

[00:26:02]

L:  Yes, we do.  

[00:26:04]

P:  I assume you are looking up and he is looking down because he is a tall man.  

[00:26:07]

L:  He was my deputy if you don’t know.  Hello. I used to come up to his waist, and he will continue to stand beside me.  

[00:26:14]

P:  I was going to interview him today, and the first thing I was going to say how tall are you because he is probably one of the tallest blokes I’ve ever seen or know.

[00:26:21]

L:  I think he has grown.  He is now. jarred is very good to me.

[00:26:25]

P:  And likewise.

[00:26:27]

L:  Very, very good to me.  You know, if something goes wrong, I can’t start the car or something, Jarred will come down.

[00:26:34]

P:  He is a very good community man.  I just wanted to go back to the races again, um, you know, how you talk about horses, and you are into it, but I think it stems back to because it is such a fun day out and they are so important for country communities to have from a social aspect, especially in farming communities the moment.  It is rather tough. It is probably also good for the mining communities to get together.

[00:26:55]

L:  Well, last year in May when the horse, when we had our big one, we held a um mine-related council meeting here, which is everyone with mines, you had a member on it.  And I am deputy chair of that. I have been for about 10 years, um, so they actually had a member, the meeting in Cobar so they were all able to go. That’s what they said.  They are all coming back for the races.

[00:27:27]

P:  Races, yeah.  I know Calguly race, John Bowle, the mayor, invited me back here.  He said it is the best weeknd you can have in a country town. And I said I fully agree, and if you can, you have got to check out [00:27:39].  I’m keen to try to come to Cobar’s, but I’ve just saying I’ve got Regan here with me and was saying to me every time I come into Cobar, somehow he ends up leaving with a hangover, always a hangover.  

[00:27:50]

L:  You shouldn’t drink.

[00:27:49]

P:  Um, but you know, the company is too good and the beer tastes too nice.  I guess you talk about in your mayor role, you have been here 18 years now.  You have had a few deputies. I’ve got Regan here. You have had a mom as a deputy.  Is she deputy mayor now?

[00:28:06]

L:  Now she has stood down.  

[00:28:08]

P:  Okay. She is still on council, isn’t she?  

[00:28:11]

L:  Oh yeah, she is still a councillor.  She is a good councillor. She was a good deputy, too.  Um, but I’ve had a few and I’ve got Peter Abbots now.

[00:28:22]

P:  Who else have you had?  I guess these people offside you.  

[00:28:25]

L:  Greg Martin was another.  

[00:28:27]

P:  Greg Martin, he is off the council now.  He has got a new job, he said.

[00:28:31]

L:  He is now um with Vibraday.  I think he got sick of the police force.  

[00:28:37]

P:  He can’t pull me over anymore.  He gave me a couple of [00:28:41].  But he was a good policeman.

[00:28:43]

L:  He is a nice boy, Greg.

[00:28:44]

P:  I want to um keep the chat going.  Let’s talk about what, I guess you have seen Cobar evolve over the years and change.  What’s probably been the biggest change you have seen in Cobar? It is obviously a farming community, but also um a mining community.  What has been the biggest change you have seen over your time?

[00:29:01]

L:  Well, you have got 5 mines now where there was only one when I first came.  You have got Endeavor, and that started when I was about 4 years here. The thing that’s changed mining is [00:29:15].  

[00:29:18]

P:  Roster.

[00:29:20]

L:  Roster.  Because when we first came here, they, days on, days off and things like that.

[00:29:27]

P:  [00:29:28] growing up.  It used to be different.  I think.

[00:29:31]

L:  It was.  And that was, people could live here.  It was a different town all together. Kids all went to school here, um.  it was a different life.

[00:29:44]

P:  I would be interested to see what else we can do more and me and you had these conversations off line around selling mining communities to the ideal people we want here, and that’s usually people with a young family because obviously Cobar has all the infrastructure you need.  So what I do currently in Cobar, and I had this conversation in the past with previous councillors. I’ve got an accommodation set up here, which everyone is aware of, um and what I do if I saw someone from away, I supply them accommodation until they get on their feet. And the whole idea is humans have got two feelings.  they have got certainty and uncertainty, so when they work for me, they start off as a trial period and as a casual. So they have got a bit of uncertainty, but the day they swap over to become a full time employee of the mine or the cline, they then, I say to them look, I don’t make money off accomodation. This is not the business that I’m in.  You are now a Cobar community resident, and you have to find your own accomodation. Right now we are finding that in talking to Red Earth that there are hardly any rentals in town, and I guess we sort of want to make that incentive where look, rentals are hard to come by in Cobar and we want people to buy and call it a home and try and attract the right people here.  That’s why I am thinking we try and do it with phases. Trying to find people that maybe don’t have the mining industry experience that want a residential community lifestyle. We get it. There might be some transient times at the start for them to find their feet, but once they find their feet and realize how great of a community it is, realize how much they have got the workplaces, they are home every night.  You can transition. [00:31:18]

[00:31:19]

L:  I think when we get this phone service, which [00:31:25] finished in about a fortnight, I think that’s going to change the, how Cobar [00:31:31] too.  A lot of doctors take doctors. They come up here. If they can go to Sydney for the weekend, give them a better chance of, we could have a doctors’ problem here but in March.  We have got two doctors that are possibly leaving in March.

[00:31:47]

P:  By the end of it, you have had a few experiences with the Cobar Airport upgrade.  So I guess indicatively not too sure on how the flight schedule is going to work.

[00:31:58]

L:  What we are going to sit down now and see which is the best.  It may be more to go uh, now Cobar mines have now said look, we will come and help you.

[00:32:09]

P:  It is funny.  We want to talk about the mines and I have obviously got a lot of friends and they are a client of ours and we do a lot of work together.  I guess the biggest thing I want to bring to the table and me and you have had this conversation is transparency between the mining operations around this town and us as a council and community to be able to do more to enable the mines to be able to do more, which can bring to the community and more to the town.  So I guess I know these topics, I know you are very passionate about these topics in general, and um there is nothing taken away from that at all, especially if you agree or disagree. But the reality often is in areas like this there is an opportunity for us and you and the council to have some proactive conversations with the council, with the local mines and about making an effective opportunity for everybody.

[00:33:01]

L:  What I’ve always wanted.  Three things I want before I live.  I’ve got to really push it. I’ve always wanted a mining school because I believe we have got 15 mines around us, 15.  You have got Down To Way. You have got Berrapin Hill, Wenworth. You have got Bear Reynolds has got. What is it called?  So there are 15 mines. We are going to bring kids.

[00:33:25]

P:  Do you feel sometimes you don’t get the key decision makers to the table?

[00:33:30]

L:  Yes.

[00:33:31]

P:  Do you feel like they give you a bit of a [00:33:34]?  Is that your personal point of view?

[00:33:35]

L:  Yeah.  I do. I think, you know, they.  We all should be sitting down and fighting for the one thing.  We are here for Cobar, and for the best thing for Cobar. Tourism is a big thing.  We can sell tourism. If we had a [00:33:49] we could give [00:33:52] would be here in droves.  But I’ve got to think of the things that are most important to get to there. That’s down the track, but at this point in time that mining school is important.  The [00:34:08] is important to me. Uh, we don’t need very much done, and that will open up uh Meljorah. Meljorah can get to Dower and [00:34:22] by coming up this way.  And the other is the [00:34:26] Channel. The [00:34:28] Channel is a two way. It is a prop. If we pipe it, years ago, the government gave us the rates. We thought it was good, and then they have us the appreciation, and the appreciation for their rights are more than our rates.  So we put pipes on that [00:34:50] Priest Channel, [00:34:51]. We won’t be able to report the depreciation. The people are paying water here, [00:35:00] water. We are not only paying for water; we are paying for the upgrade of the treatment and now.

[00:35:05]

P:  That’s underway.  I’ve looked today.  I’ve been for a look around town.  When I come home to Lena, I like to go and see the multipurpose center and go past the haunts.  I did see.

[00:35:16]

L:  We have got the money, so that was money.  But it will be the upgrade, the upkeep of the mine, the upkeep of the right to [00:35:26].

[00:35:26]

P:  How is that part line coming between Cobar and [00:35:28]?  Is it?

[00:35:29]

L:  It is there.  Um, it will cost.  When Elbay gave me $12 million because it was going to cost 24 about 8 years ago.  Now it is up to about [00:35:42]. So that’s if you want [00:35:44]. But I believe that probably the best thing for us [00:35:49] is probably to uh put plastic in.  I know the grasses can still make it, and they do. They do.

[00:36:00]

P:  Only a couple of weeks to go, and there are plenty of rabbit holes.  Let me ask you a couple of questions. I know we talked about all the soft topics and I know you are not frightened of a  tough conversation. What’s your ideal sort of personal family you would like to, I guess families are people? What sort of people do you recommend to come to Cobar?  And why should they come to Cobar and check it out?

[00:36:19]

L:  It is in [00:36:21] at number one, and [00:36:24] to bring up kids.  Your kids are safe in Cobar because everybody sees what kids are doing and they all look after them.  That’s number one. it is the place to bring up children.

[00:36:35]

P:  I fully agree.  I grew up here myself.  I like it.

[00:36:37]

L:  And you might get a kick up the ass.  Boys do that.

[00:36:41]

P:  Greg Pritchard gave me a couple of good ones.

[00:36:43]

L:  But the point is it is a good place.  You are safe. Uh, the other thing if we get enough people, we are going to have good education.  Now everyone said it was no good when my daughter, she got in the first two percent in the state. So if your kids got it, they will push it along.

[00:37:02]

P:  I think.  When I think about, you know, young families coming to Cobar, I think um you know the Cobar pool second to none.  I think the Cobar Youth Center is probably one of the best places you can hang out. I’m a bit out of touch with the schools these days, but I do have my cousin who is a high school teacher.  So I will say if there is a Finn in the education, there must be something going right.

[00:37:26]

L:  Not only that, but do you know if they spend 4 years here, they can go anywhere they want to.

[00:37:32]

P:  So there are plenty of credit ratings.

[00:37:34]

L:  So that’s why you get a lot of young ones that they don’t stay.  

[00:37:37]

P:  Let’s talk about what you see for the future of the Cobar region, the bigger picture.

[00:37:44]

L:  I think Cobar has got a wonderful future.  [00:37:46] and I disagree here. I think that Cobar is going to burst.  i actually think it could [00:37:55]. If I can swing this thing, think about homes you would be seeing in Cobar.

[00:38:00]

P:  Do you feel like the bigger picture for Cobar is being able to attract families here and people here?

[00:38:08]

L:  I do.

[00:38:09]

P:  What’s the future of the council look like when there is no Lilliane Brady?  

[00:38:13]

L:  There will be always be someone [00:38:16].  

[00:38:16]

P:  You are confident there are the people in the community that can steer this ship to the greatness you have done over the years.

[00:38:23]

L:  I haven’t done it so much as the people of Cobar.  the people of Cobar have been good to me.

[00:38:29]

P:  Let’s try and wrap it up because I know I’m chewing your time up and I know your time poor just like I am.  What makes you um nervous about the future?

[00:38:39]

L:  I’m not nervous.  No. I’m definite.

[00:38:44]

P:  You are pretty happy about everything.  You are not nervous. You are obviously nervous about a few things, but I guess  nothing stands out.

[00:38:49]

L:  You will always have idiots and dickheads get in your way, but if you have got a goal, go for it.  Don’t be nervous because if you are nervous, you won’t achieve it. That’s advice to you. You haven’t got to get nervous.  Just [00:39:02] through it to the top.

[00:39:04]

P:  Appreciate it.  What makes you, what makes you excited about the future?

[00:39:08]

L:  I can see Cobar in the.  i won’t see it, but it will be big.

[00:39:15]

P:  Um, I guess um I will wrap it up, but in a nutshell your Cobar is your life, isn’t it?  

[00:39:21]

L:  Love it.  Love local government.  There is a not a person in local government I don’t [00:39:27].  Like when I come home, I’ve got about 500 cards. How can I do that?  You know, how can I possibly write 500 cards?

[00:39:40]

P:  Give your hand a workout writing that many.  What’s the best way for people to get in contact with Lilliane, email address, phone number?  

[00:39:48]

L:  It is on the website.  Honestly, Cobar has got a wonderful future.  We can’t think of anything else. We have got to be passionate about it.  

[00:39:57]

P:  You are nothing but a giving person.  

[00:40:01]

L:  [00:40:02].  

[00:40:03]

P:  I’m not saying you are not.  I want you to know I appreciate you giving me your time for the catch up.  

[00:40:07]

L:  My pleasure, and don’t ever feel nervous about what you are doing.  Just get in and do it.

[00:40:13]

P:  Appreciate the advice.  

[00:40:14]

L:  You can only come out two ways, [00:40:19] or not.  

[00:40:20]

P:  People that might agree with you and people that don’t agree with you, I’m sure they can all admire that you have got um plenty of passion there.  Appreciate you. Appreciate your time.

[00:40:30]

L:  Thank you very much.  

[00:40:32]

P:  Thanks.  Lilian, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and thank you to all of our listeners.  Stick around because we have plenty of new guests and [00:40:42] coming up in future episodes of the podcast.  And don’t forget to join the Full Production facebook group to get amongst the conversation and keep up with the latest.  Catch you next week. Cheers.