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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Cadwallader, Lyon and Krieg most likely new Far North Coast mayors

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Four of the LGAs on the Far North Coast.

5 December 2021 11am: With most of the votes cast, and counting set to recommence on Monday 6 December, the New South Wales Electoral Commission stats would suggest that there are three clear winners of the mayoral contests in Ballina, Byron and Lismore Shires.

The Echo has also looked at the numbers for the councillor seats in each electorate but until the final tallies are done, these seats are less certain.

Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader. Photo David Lowe.


The votes tallied for Ballina to date show that Sharon Cadwallader will most likely be mayor for that area. Cadwallader has so far attracted 33 per cent of the vote with 4,036 votes, her closest rival is Jeff Johnson with the 28.9 per cent tally of 3,534 votes, followed by Keith Williams with 15.96 per cent and 1,952 votes, marginally ahead of Eoin Johnston with 14.97 per cent and 1,831 votes.

The ward system in Ballina means that those who get the most votes overall, may not necessarily be in the chambers, but the councillors who appear to have the quota ratio for a seat are Cadwallader and Johnson for Ward B and Johnston for Ward C.

Depending on where the preferences go, two seats will possibly be going to the Greens, with Simon Chate in Ward C only a few votes off a quota ratio with 0.95 and Kiri Dicker for Ward B next, with a quota ratio of 0.77.

If this trend continues, current councillor and mayoral aspirant Keith Willams will be without a place at the table.

The other likely winner of a C Ward seat is Labor’s Therese Crollick, who has only a quota of 0.56 at this stage, but as there are three elected to each ward, she is set to become a councillor, depending on preference flows.

In Ward A, once again the seats will be decided on the total votes and preferences with no candidate currently reaching the quota required for a seat. On the current count, the front runners for Ward A are current councillor Steve McCarthy on 0.71, and just three votes between Jason Shrieves with 388 votes (0.58 of quota), and the ALP’s Col Riches with 385 votes (0.57 of quota).

Byron Shire Councillor Michael Lyon. Photo Tree Faerie.


As the count finished last night, Michael Lyon was the clear leader in the vote count for that LGA.

Independent Lyon so far has drawn 23.65 per cent of the vote with 2,696 first preferences, but the dark horse in this event is Mark Swivel who has 2,087 votes. Greens hopeful Duncan Dey is next with 1,663 votes and Labor’s Asren Pugh not far behind that on 1,377.

Without knowing the preferences, guessing the seat allocation is very tricky. Going by the current trends, the Greens’ Group A would have two seats, which would see Duncan Dey and the return of Sarah Ndiaye, then Michael Lyon’s Group E with himself and possibly Sama Balson for that group. Mark Swivel will most likely get a seat for Group D at 0.97 of a quota and at 0.94 Group F’s Asren Pugh will likely be a new face on Council. Group B’s Cate Coorey is set to return to her seat.

The rest is anyone’s guess.

Restaurant owner and new Mayor Steve Krieg. Photo Tree Faerie.


With a few Councillors leaving their Lismore seats, it is no surprise that there will be new faces in that LGA. How many remains to be seen once the votes are all tallied.

The clear winner for the position of mayor is not unexpectedly, Steve Krieg. Independent Krieg has already received a staggering 51.86 per cent of the vote with 9,099 ticks in his box.

There is no chance that his results can be surpassed, but the next-in-line are current Mayor Vanessa Ekins for the Greens with 2,876 votes (16.39 per cent) and current Councillor Elly Bird for Our Sustainable Future with 2,384 votes (13.59 per cent).

Steve Kreig also has four quota places, which would include Peter Colby, Jeri Hall and Andrew Gordon (who between them drew 12 below the line votes), and if preferences flow through, possibly Electra Jensen.

With 2.04 on the quota ratios, Group D Greens candidates Vanessa Ekins and Adam Guise will return, as will Group A (Labor’s Darlene Cook) and Group E’s Elly Bird for Our Sustainable Future.

The rest is too hard to call but it looks possible that the majority of Lismore Council will be councillors who have not been on council before.

Tweed Councillor James Owen.


Tweed councillors elect a mayor once they get to the chambers for two years periods. The front runners for a seat at the table are Liberals for Group E James Owen and most likely Rhiannon Brinsmead. However, it will depend on the final blend of councillors and their political leanings that will determine the outcome.

Chris Cherry will again be on the Tweed Council with currently just over the quota for the Independent Group D and Nola Firth will forge ahead for the Greens approaching the quota at 0.87.

Independent Meredith Dennis is approaching three-quarters of a quota at 0.72.

While we have a good indication of the front runners, many of the Far North Coast councillors may have to wait days or even weeks for the final collection of postal votes before we know for sure who will be representing us in our Local Government Areas.

*All figures were from the NSW Electoral Commission at 9am, Sunday, December 5, 2021.

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    • Yes, they’re adept at hiding their true colours.
      Sadly unlikely to benefit the people or environments of their electorates.

  1. My 10 year old overheard me speaking about the results in Lismore on Sunday and she said, Dad it’s simple Steve Krieg won because he had lots of pictures all over town and the other people just had a couple…. how sad someone so young understands what so many didn’t see. And how revolting that the Nats could run candidates as Independents and not as the National party, and not just locally they did this right throughout NSW.

  2. Tweed is not looking good, whilst the lead liberal candidate is to be congratulated on starting early running his populist campaign based on border issues, his true colours are likely to be oro inappropriate development and anti environment.

    As mentioned above, it’s all about getting your face out there, not policies and ethics.

  3. Bart your daughter is correct OMG ….looking like Krieg got in but I think the ‘blue’ Tshirt may have been an indicator of his LNP philosophy . How sad thought the electorate of Lismore was becoming more switched on & actually generating care & concern for our planet..THAT IS ON FIRE. Then it looks like Cadwaller might be Mayor for Ballina WTF ? PEOPLE HAVE MADE THEIR FEELINGS CLEAR ABOUT THE DUNOON (NO) DAM yet she got so many votes ??? Isn’t she a Nat basically ? I haven’t lived in the region long BUT mighty glad I’m in Byron Shire. MY brains are imploding nevertheless , Australians have had it too good for too long & refuse to get politically literate. WHAT DOES IT TELL YOU WHEN YOU READ THE ‘BLURB’ FROM MAYORAL CANDIDATES (& OTHERS) that make NO mention of our climate crisis / native forest destruction & corruption/ no concern for our diminishing wildlife (yes & Koalas) / no mention (usually) about the housing crisis/no mention of long overdue drug reform etc MOST OF THEM STILL BANGED ON ABOUT GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, ARE THEY BLIND &.THAT STUPID ? Yet our largely bogan electorate continue to not see the forest for the trees & guess what ….even the trees are diminishing. I despair the greed & ignorance is astounding.

    • You are so right, Lindy Stacker. I tried to enlighten a friend who was running for mayor about the environment and the loss of wildlife because of bushfires and the greed of vested interests–particularly politicians and their mates. But no, I couldn’t get through the arrogance and ignorance displayed by some of these candidates.

  4. Spot on Lindy.
    Despair for this region, & this country, there is no hope. How can so many people be so stupid??
    Have they not been paying attention to what these people have been saying? Or the track record of their parties?
    Expect inappropriate over-development, big money projects for their mates & supporters, & widespread trashing of the environment.
    Until these results demonstrated such collective amnesia & complete bogan-ness, I actually thought lying Scummo & Co were finished. I obviously underestimated the power of advertising & self-interest

  5. Bart, Lindy and M. Clarke, yes, so true.
    My kids all said Kreig would win too, because he had the most posters, and other advertising. Cadwallader made herself a household name via her ‘Toilet to Tap’ petition, despite purified recycled water being drunk now in California, Singapore, South Africa, Belgium, London, and Perth. We drink water from the Richmond River in Lismore too.
    Interesting how most of the money from corporate donations to political parties (at federal level anyway) is spent on advertising (1).
    It works. Hopefully Kreig will disclose his funding sources, and of course fix the roads, pronto. Perhaps Cadwallader will tell us who the ‘wealthy Byron lobbyists’ who are trying to stop the dam are. Pity they didn’t spend any of their millions on expensive P.R. campaigns.
    (1) The Big Deal (documentary), ABC iView
    (2) Look on the Veolia website for their page – Water: too precious a resource to be used just once
    (3) S. Cadwallader, facebook comment, 11/11/21

    • we dont drink water from the richmond river in lismore,rous county council take water from the wilson river and pump it back up over 200 metres in elevation to the night cap treatment plant, its not surpising you are shocked by the election results.

  6. Must be shocking for some but I’m pleased that People voted for mayors that aren’t opposed to the Dunoon Dam, I signed the petition and voted accordingly I guess it meant something after all.

    • Hi Dennis, do you live in Dunoon? I don’t so I’m cautious with my opinion on the matter, but I’m so confused how people living in Goonellabah or Ballina who will now be local
      Mayor’s have such a strong opinion on someone else’s backyard. Also surely we’ve already lost enough of the local rainforests & local indigenous culture to be risking more..


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