Residents can expect to see some different faces on council after initial first preference counting has thrown up some newcomers in the top six candidates.
In a testament to his popularity across the northern part of the shire, Tony Allen is once again the stand-out performer with 2715 votes, almost 14 per cent of the vote, by Tuesday afternoon.
The results show that the additional choice of candidates has not significantly eaten into Mr Allen’s solid support. He is well in excess of an estimated quota of around 2000 votes and has resoundingly regained his place on council.
Newcomer to council, Robyn Bain, is Mr Allen’s nearest rival with 1682 votes and is well-placed to gain a seat on council. Like Mr Allen, she has pushed for a more conservative financial approach to council’s affairs.
Interestingly, Ms Bain, whose three-word slogan was “stop buying buildings” garnered a large number (537) of votes from Eden. Ms Bain is president of the Sapphire Coast Turf Club and wants to see council lobby state and federal governments for an equestrian centre onsite.
Another newcomer to council, Jo Dodds, looks set to take a seat on council with 1286 votes. Ms Dodds is well-known in Bega for her stand against removing trees from Littleton Gardens.
Previous councillor, Kristy McBain (1331 votes), newcomer, Mitchell Nadin (1131 votes) and The Greens candidate, Cathy Griff (1130 votes) are all in a good position to get across the line.
The fate of the remaining five previous councillors, Sharon Tapscott, Liz Seckold, Michael Britten, Russell Fitzpatrick and Bill Taylor, and also Daryl Dobson, Tas Fitzer and Fraser Buchanan, is less certain at this stage.
The next round of counting as preference votes are distributed will be critical in deciding who, out of these eight candidates, makes it onto council. They will be looking to pick up votes from the redistribution of votes from those who have made the quota, and also from those who have the least votes.
Clearly whoever was the popular second choice on Mr Allen’s ballot papers will benefit substantially from the votes he received in excess of the quota, once they are redistributed.
A spokesman for the NSW Electoral Commission said that data entry of votes was continuing today and final results were unlikely to be known before Friday.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.