Ballina mayor ‘hopeful’ for another term

Ballina Shire Council C Ward and mayoral candidate David Wright. Photo supplied

Ballina Shire Council C Ward and mayoral candidate David Wright. Photo supplied

Chris Dobney

Outgoing Ballina mayor David Wright says that even though the numbers look to be going his way, he’s not going to claim victory until the announcement by the NSW Electoral Commission, expected later today.

It’s been a tough term, attempting to balance the desires of shire residents for protection from shark attacks against those of many surfers not to be fenced in, but Cr Wright is nevertheless hoping for a second term.

While he looks like getting over the line with Greens’ support, the three other most popular candidates – Jeff Johnson, Sharon Cadwallader and Keith Williams – are swapping preferences in an arrangement that could see more than 7,000 votes change hands.

‘They’ve just put the postals up, that was the last of the votes, and I’m leading by about 2,800 at the moment,’ Cr Wright told Echonetdaily.

‘But I’ve been in council long enough never to gloat or say anything before you actually know the decision.’

‘I think [the Electoral commission] know what the preferences are, I think they’ve been tallying those. It’s now just a matter of putting the numbers in,’ he said.

Assuming he is re-elected, the results of A and B Wards will also be known later today but C Ward may take longer as his preferences would need to be reallocated.

This juggle would see Ben Smith returned and Greens candidate Gail Mensinga get over the line in a first for that ward.

Ballina Council B Ward Greens candidate Nathan Cooper. Photo contributed

Ballina Council B Ward Greens candidate Nathan Cooper. Photo contributed

Greens candidate in B Ward, Nathan Cooper, acknowledges he’s unlikely to get up.

‘It was always going to be a tough race against three incumbent candidates,’ he told Echonetdaily, with one of them [Jeff Johnson] a popular progressive.

Cr Johnson split with the Greens after failing to be preselected for the seat of Ballina last year but Mr Cooper said it was ‘nothing like’ the controversial defection of Byron Greens candidate Rose Wanchap.

‘He’s still very progressive, he’s popular and very active on council, so it’s understandable people would vote for him.’

Questioned on whether he thought the Ballina voters were more conservative that their Byron counterparts, Mr Cooper said ‘there’s just a different way of doing things here.’

‘The Greens may not have got up as many candidates as we did in Byron but If you add Jeff’s and my votes together in B Ward, it’s basically 45 per cent “greenish”,’ he said.

‘And talking to the candidates around the hustings there’s a lot of concern from most of them about environmental issues, especially the health of the river,’ he said.

‘It’s a very different community [to Byron] but council is becoming more progressive,’ he said.

One response to “Ballina mayor ‘hopeful’ for another term”

  1. al goody says:

    Nathan was the highlight at the Polling station in Lennox Head. It is such a shame that he didn’t get the numbers because his happy energy is exactly what we need. Things are very one sided in Lennox Head ( community organisations are branch stacked ) & someone new would have given it a shake-up. Good Luck in the future Nathan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina and Falls Festival Byron Bay.