In a remarkable change to the local political climate, five new councillors have been voted on to Byron Shire Council.
They are the Greens’ Michael Lyon, Jeanette Martin and Sarah Ndiaye, Country Labor’s Jan Hackett and Cate Coorey of Community Byron. They join Greens mayor Simon Richardson, Country Labor’s Paul Spooner, Alan Hunter of Byron Shire in Balance and Our Sustainable Future’s Basil Cameron.
The Greens group total was 6,773 votes, followed by Country Labor 3,048, Byron Shire in Balance 1,746, Our Sustainable Future 1,482, and Community Byron 630. The only other councillor seeking re-election, Rose Wanchap, picked up 613 for her group The Middle Ground.
Of the councillor candidates, Lyon was elected first on the massive preference flow from Richardson’s mayoral run, followed by Spooner, Martin, Ndiaye, Cameron, Hunter, Hackett and Coorey.
In the mayoral race, Mayor Simon Richardson achieved an ‘absolute majority’ – 50 per cent of the vote plus one vote – on the distribution of preferences last Thursday, when candidate Jack Sugarman was the first to be eliminated.
On that distribution the vote tally was Richardson 8,182, Paul Spooner 3,394, Alan Hunter 1,934, Basil Cameron 1,860, Rose Wanchap 990, Jack Sugarman 483. There were 16,474 formal votes and 741 informal votes, out of a total 24,856 electors enrolled as of August 1.
Though the Greens and Labor are likely to have differences of opinion it will probably be a much more civil atmosphere than that generated by the argumentative 2012–16 council. Alan Hunter, a former National Party federal candidate, could be regarded as the ‘odd man out’ in ideological stances.
See the full result at http://vtr.elections.nsw.gov.