Dungog Council vote counting continues

The final makeup of the new Dungog Shire Council is not expected to be known until Thursday when the count of votes is complete.

Returning Officer Colin Norman said on Monday afternoon that after the first preferences count had been conducted at Dungog, the votes would then go to Newcastle and be re-counted. From there, the votes would be computerised to enable the distribution of preferences so a final result could be known.

Mr Norman said while the day went  fairly smoothly, it was a big day for Dungog.

“As well as the election of the councillors there was also the added complexity and added workload for both the election staff and voters of a referendum and a poll,” he said.

In A Ward, leading the vote count on Monday afternoon was Independent John Connors with 23.49% of the vote followed by Tracy Norman who was a councillor in the last term with 17.31% and Country Labor’s Jan Lyon with 15.29%.

Independents polled heavily in B Ward, with former Mayor Steve Low in front with 24.45% of the vote, followed by Greg Riley with 22.94% and Digby Rayward with 19.94%.

In C Ward, Independent and a former Mayor, Glenn Wall who resigned from council shortly before the election, was almost certain to be returned with  31.36% of the vote. Independent Robert Booth who was a councillor in the last term had polled 19.51% of the vote and Lisa Turner from the Country Labor Party had polled 13.97% of the vote.

The referendum question on abolishing wards saw 46% of voters in favour and 53.94% against the idea.

Whether the council should be reduced to seven councillors with the popular election of a Mayor saw 71.80% of voters agree.