La­bor can­di­date is well ahead in by-elec­tion

Rouse Hill Times - - FRONT PAGE - Maria Azzi

LA­BOR can­di­date Kevin Gil­lies is set to win the Ward 2 by-elec­tion by a large mar­gin, sit­ting well ahead with more than 50 per cent of the vote.

The Quak­ers Hill res­i­dent is at 50.95 per cent and well ahead of his op­po­nents.

A win by Mr Gil­lies will see La­bor re­tain 10 coun­cil­lors, with five Lib­er­als, on Black­town Coun­cil.

Greens hope­ful Chris Winslow is coming in sec­ond with 15.88 per cent. Aus­tralia First Party can­di­date Cassie Or­rock has 14.96 per cent, while in­de­pen­dent Kittu Rand­hawa re­ceived only 12.7 per cent of votes on Satur­day.

Most of the votes for Mr Gil­lies – 1511 in to­tal – came from the Glen­wood polling sta­tion at Cad­dies Creek Pub­lic School, fol­lowed by the Jim Southee Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Kings Lan­g­ley with 1099 votes.

“I think the re­sult re­ally does re­flect the com­mu­nity view and the sta­bil­ity that is hap­pen­ing un­der the cur­rent coun­cil by La­bor coun­cil­lors,” Mr Gil­lies said.

Mr Gil­lies, 66, said he was sur­prised by the “rous­ing re­cep­tion” given to him by res­i­dents, treat­ing him as a councillor when he at­tended com­mu­nity events.

“I was get­ting the feel­ing that even those that were pre­vi­ously Lib­eral vot­ers were looking to sup­port me and I have no doubt that it was be­cause of sta­bil­ity rather than chaos (within the coun­cil),” he said.

Mr Winslow said he was de­lighted by the re­sult that showed the num­ber of votes for the Greens had in­creased since the elec­tion in Septem­ber last year and al- most dou­bled in some ar­eas.

“This helps to es­tab­lish the Greens as part of the po­lit­i­cal land­scape in Black­town,” he said. “Our ob­jec­tive was to ex­tend the reach and fre­quency of our mes­sages and we man­aged to reach peo­ple that we haven’t been able to reach so far.

“I think there were a lot of peo­ple that would have voted Green for the very first time.”

Mr Gil­lies is pre­par­ing to ad­dress the con­cerns he heard from the com­mu­nity while cam­paign­ing.

“The first thing I want to do is bud­get es­ti­mates,” he said. “I have to look at where the al­lo­ca­tions are and this is the prime time to have a look at those is­sues.” The win­ner will be of­fi­cially de­clared on Thurs­day.

Main pic­ture: Peter Kelly

Greens can­di­date Chris Winslow hands Maria Filpi a how-to-vote card at Glen­wood on Satur­day and (be­low) La­bor’s Kevin Gil­lies.

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