Fresh faces elected

New Mitchell Shire councillor Louise Bannister, right, pictured with returning councillors Rob Eldridge, Bill Chisholm, Rhonda Sanderson and Bob Cornish following the official election declaration.

By Jackson Russell

THE results are in for the Mitchell Shire Council elections with three new councillors joining six returning councillors.

Central ward will have a fresh look, with new councillors Louise Bannister and Nathan Clark joining previous councillor Annie Goble.

Ms Bannister was first past the post in central ward, collecting 2588 first preference votes, or 27.91 per cent while Mr Clark was second preference with 2163 votes, 23.33 per cent, and Ms Goble was the last one in with 2093 votes or 22.57 per cent.

The new councillors replace David Atkinson, who chose not to run, and Bob Humm, who narrowly missed out with 1783 votes or 19.23 per cent.

Ms Bannister said she was excited and humbled to win the first preference vote.

“It was a bit of a shock but I’m just really excited to start the term and get into it,” she said.

“I’ve already got a few issues that I want to start addressing and looking at and everything too, so I’m looking forward to getting into it.

“The first thing on the agenda this year is really just catching up on where the previous council left off and what they’re looking at now.”

Despite being the most hotly contested ward with seven candidates, just one change was made in south ward, with Christine Banks coming in for former mayor David Lowe.

Bob Cornish won the first preference vote with 1795 or 21.89 per cent followed by Rob Eldridge with 1466 votes or 17.88 per cent and Ms Banks with 1396 or 17.02 per cent.

Mr Lowe was not far behind with 1261 votes for 15.38 per cent.

Ms Banks said it meant a lot to get such support from the community.

“It makes me realise that there are a lot of people out there who believe the same things I do and a lot of people that want to save the Wallan Community Park,” she said.

“Thanks to all the people that voted for me. I’m still in shock to be honest, I didn’t really expect it. I hadn’t really put any thought into winning, I thought it might happen, it might not.

“It will be a big learning curve but hopefully I can make some positive changes for south ward.”

North ward remains unchanged with Rhonda Sanderson, Fiona Stevens and Bill Chisholm all retaining their seats at the table.

Ms Sanderson collected more than two thirds of the first preference vote, with 3488 or 35.34 per cent while Ms Stevens won 28.27 per cent, 2791 votes, and Mr Chisholm won 22.64 per cent or 2235 votes.

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