Wad­dell loses by hair’s breadth

Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS - Sarah Brookes

IT WAS one of the most heated lo­cal govern­ment elec­tion cam­paigns in years and it has claimed the scalp of City of Kalamunda mayor An­drew Wad­dell.

Mr Wad­dell de­clined to com­ment on the elec­tion re­sult that saw him miss out on one of two va­can­cies in the North West ward by 14 votes. Dy­lan O’Con­nor was com­fort­ably re- elected, with new­comer David Al­mond also get­ting a spot.

In the North ward, sit­ting coun­cil­lor Sue Bilich also nar­rowly missed out on re­tain­ing her seat by 36 votes.

Mrs Bilich may yet con­test the re­sult in the Court of Dis­puted Re­turns on the grounds that the Save Kalamunda Shire Ac­tion Group pub­lished mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion in breach of the Elec­toral Act in the lead- up to the elec­tion.

High- pro­file for­mer Lib­eral MP Alyssa Hay­den failed to strike a chord with vot­ers and polled just 8 per cent of the vote in the ward. For­mer coun­cil­lor and Re­tirees WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Mar­garet Thomas and Cameron Blair were elected.

Mrs Thomas said it was pleas­ing to see so many can­di­dates stand­ing.

“Gone are the days when there wasn’t an elec­tion be­cause no­body wanted to stand for coun­cil,” she said.

“There were a lot of peo­ple who stood this year and that is a re­ally healthy sign for our lo­cal coun­cil.”

Mrs Thomas said she was pleased to have an­other op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent her ward.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing that it has been a dirty elec­tion cam­paign with signs stolen and claims made that were bla­tant lies,” she said. “But I be­lieve ratepay­ers have se­lected a good crop of coun­cil­lors who are fo­cused on rep­re­sent­ing their wards.

“In the past the dis­like be­tween some coun­cil­lors has bordered on ha­tred and that has to stop. This is a fresh op­por­tu­nity for coun­cil­lors to stop bick­er­ing and work as a team.”

In the South East ward Ge­off Stal­lard won con­vinc­ingly with 63 per cent of the vote. In the South West ward, Les­ley Body de­feated sit­ting coun­cil­lor Noreen Townsend.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt d473170

De­posed mayor An­drew Wad­dell.

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