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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Former Cobar Mayor to receive State Funeral

Deputy Premier John Barilaro today announced the former Mayor of Cobar and champion of Western NSW, the late Lilliane Brady OAM, will be commemorated with a State Funeral. 

“Lilliane Brady OAM was the longest serving female Mayor in NSW and will be formally acknowledged by the NSW Government for her decades-long commitment to regional NSW by way of a State Funeral,” Mr Barilaro said. 

“For 40 years Lilliane was a vocal advocate for her community and the broader western NSW region and fiercely fought for what she believed in.

“While small in stature, Lilliane was a giant of local government for the last four decades and her unrivalled passion for the people of Cobar was critical in seeing the advancement of the community through local projects and funding. 

“After serving 20 years as Mayor of Cobar Shire Council, Lilliane leaves behind an enduring legacy, the likes of which we will never see again. 

“My deepest sympathy goes out to Lilliane’s family, friends, colleagues and the communities of regional NSW for which she fought tirelessly.” 

Cr Brady, 90, died peacefully in Cobar hospital in the early hours of Sunday, Local Government NSW President, Linda Scott said on Tuesday.

“Our deepest condolences go to Lilliane’s family, friends, and the community of Cobar,” Cr Scott said.

“Lilliane was an irrepressible, unmitigated force of nature and it’s hard to imagine our sector without her drive, impish sense of humour and unwavering commitment not only to the people of Cobar, but also to local government as a whole.”

Cr Brady held the position of Mayor in the central western mining town for more than two decades in total, and served as a local councillor for 40 years.

In 2018 she was awarded LGNSW’s Lifetime Achievement Award for services to local government and her community.

The feisty nonagenarian with a love of racehorses was known through Macquarie Street and in Canberra as a woman with little tolerance for bureaucracy or bulldust.

“Anyone thinking they could dismiss her arguments soon learnt otherwise,” Cr Scott said.

“One legendary exchange came during a community cabinet meeting when a State Government Minister tried to divert her with personal flattery.

“Lilliane more than had his measure, and snapped right back: ‘I’m here for finance, Minister, not romance.’

“That anecdote illustrates her tenacity and refusal to take no for an answer, and Ministers at all levels of government have learnt not to underestimate her determination to get the best possible outcomes for the people of Cobar Shire.”

Cr Brady first moved to Cobar from Sydney with her husband Allan and her three children in the 1970s, and what was supposed to be only 12 months soon became 50 years.

In 1974 she ran for council after an elderly man, transferred to Orange due to a lack of aged care facilities in Cobar, died alone.

In 1982, she opened the Lilliane Brady Village – now a 34-bed not-for-profit facility comprising a hostel, a nursing home, and a multipurpose health centre connecting the village and the hospital.

She campaigned for her community right up until her death, seeking a new hospital, better infrastructure, and a fairer return of the mining royalties that flow from the town to the NSW Office of State Revenue. 

The State Funeral will be held in Cobar on Friday 19 February. 

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