It’s de´ja` vu all over again for Mur­ray River Coun­cil vot­ing

I think that’s a sign I am do­ing okay and try­ing to do the right thing by them

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Tyla Har­ring­ton

GE­OFF Wise, Tom Weyrich, Ni­cole Co­hen and Chris Bilkey are al­most cer­tain to have a seat on the new Mur­ray River Coun­cil.

But that could change depend­ing on how pref­er­ences un­fold in the com­ing days.

If first pref­er­ence trends con­tinue, just as cer­tainly three of the six elected, cov­er­ing much of the for­mer Mur­ray Shire, will be for­mer Mur­ray Shire coun­cil­lors.

Mr Wise, a Moama busi­ness­man, polled the most pri­mary votes in Greater Mur­ray ward with 34.35 per cent of the vote.

For­mer Mur­ray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich was close be­hind with 25.23 per cent.

Who will fill the third and fi­nal seat will only be de­cided once postal votes are in and pref­er­ences distributed.

In terms of pri­mary votes, Moama’s Tony Aquino is next in the lead with 16.81 per cent ahead of for­mer Mur­ray Shire mayor John Pock­ling­ton – the man who called for his shire’s sus­pen­sion – on 12.25 per cent.

That’s just ahead of Mathoura’s Ni­cole Sten­house, who had re­ceived 11.37 per cent.

Af­ter vot­ing closed Mr Wise said he was “thrilled” to have polled the most votes in his ward.

“I think that’s a sign I am do­ing okay and try­ing to do the right thing by them,” he said.

Mr Wise is al­ready look­ing to the fu­ture and what in­flu­ence he can have on the new coun­cil.

“One of the first things I want to get done is help with the DAs (de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions),” he said.

“I need to see what we can do to help coun­cil get through them quicker.”

In Moama ward Mrs Co­hen man- aged an in­sur­mount­able lead with 43.61 per cent of the vote and can con­fi­dently as­sume she will be elected.

Next in her race is for­mer Mur­ray Shire coun­cil­lor Chris Bilkey with 26.51 per cent of the vote.

The re­main­ing can­di­dates, Gen Camp­bell and Ge­off Macken­zie, will fight it out for the third seat. Both are for­mer Mur­ray Shire coun­cil­lors.

But it looks likely Ms Camp­bell will come out on top.

She had 19.19 per cent of the vote ahead of Mr Macken­zie’s 10.69.

How­ever, if vot­ing trends con­tinue, and there is no in­di­ca­tion they won’t, the cur­rent third place holder in both wards will win a seat.

Mrs Co­hen, a pas­try chef at Rich River Golf Club, stood on a plat­form of not promis­ing the world. She did, how­ever, in­sist she would do ev­ery­thing she could to make the pub­lic’s con­cerns heard. Mrs Co­hen was not avail­able for com­ment yes­ter­day.

In Greater Wakool ward for­mer Wakool Shire mayor Neil Gorey is com­fort­ably on top with 41.03 per cent of the vote.

For­mer coun­cil­lor Alan Mathers is also likely to get elected with 25.05 per cent fol­lowed by Ann Crowe with 20.16. Kather­ine O’Brien and Chris­tine Dart­nell took home 7.61 per cent and 6.14 re­spec­tively.

Af­ter postal votes and pref­er­ences “some­time this week” the new coun­cil will be of­fi­cially an­nounced.

Visit www.river­ine­herald.com.au for up­dates on the elec­tion. A fur­ther report will be in Wed­nes­day’s Riv.

LUKE HEMER

Ge­off Wise WAIT FOR PREF­ER­ENCES: The out­come of Satur­day’s vot­ing for the inaugural Mur­ray River Coun­cil will not be con­firmed un­til later this week, af­ter pref­er­ences are distributed. Photo:

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