Your likely new coun­cil

Count­ing con­tin­ues in lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Peter Car­ruthers

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

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