Your likely new council
Counting continues in local government elections
IT WAS a nervous wait for Division 2 candidate Ron Petterson out the front of the pre-polling booth in at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre yesterday.
He had come to hear the result of the 2016 local government elections and to scrutinise as Electoral Commission Queensland employees allocated preferences to the primary ballot count.
Mr Petterson has been on the edge of his seat since counting began 12 days ago, and at the time printing it was clear he will have to wait just a bit longer to find out if he will represent the people of Division 2 on the Whitsunday Regional Council.
It was expected that a result would be declared yesterday but as the afternoon wore on and the pile of votes still to be counted got slowly smaller an announcement was made by return-
They are counting as fast as they can Ron Petterson
ing officer Leanne Lloyd.
She said the count would not be complete until the early hours of the morning and a result would most likely be declared today.
Mr Petterson said the count was taking a long time but that was not a criticism of the counters.
“I have been watching them count over the last two weeks and I think every candidate should come and watch,” he said.
“They are counting as fast as they can and are doing a great job.”
“They are doing it 100% accurately. We just have to be patient but hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer.” He said yesterday.
Neither Mr Petterson nor his fellow Division 2 candidates John Atkinson and Tanya Bandow have received more than 50% of the vote.
Under the Optional Preferential Voting system if a candidate does not win 50% of the vote second preferences are used to determine a winner.
At this stage Mr Petterson is the favourite to win the Division 2 seat with 972 votes just 81 votes more than incumbent councillor John Atkinson.
Preferences will not be needed to decide the fate of deputy mayor Andrew Willcox – he has a lead of 3200 votes over incumbent Jennifer Whitney and is almost sure to be the new Whitsunday Regional Council’s mayor.
MAYOR: Andrew Willcox
DIVISION 2: Ron Petterson
DIVISION 1: Jan Clifford
DIVISION 6: Michael Brunker
DIVISION 4: Peter Ramage
DIVISION 5: Dave Clark
DIVISION 3: John Collins