Annette Death

THREE former councillors of Macedon Ranges Shire Council will be officially sworn in among several fresh faces in each of the three wards next week.

Bill West, from east ward, and west ward’s Jennifer Anderson and Janet Pearce will be reinstated.

Annette Death and Geoff Neil will also represent the east ward, Dominic Bonanno, Rob Guthrie and Anne Moore will represent the south ward, and Mark Ridgeway will be the third representative of the west.

The councillors will represent their community on Macedon Ranges Shire Council until the next general council election in October 2024.

Bill West

Mr West said he was looking forward to being sworn in again and he appreciated the support from voters and ratepayers.

Mr Neil said he hoped to reconnect the community with council during his time representing the east ward.

“Now that I’m retired, I have the time to be putting into this, if people ring me, I can answer,” he said.

“We have to listen to what is being expressed. People pay for our services and we have to handle it to the best of our ability.”

Geoff Neil

In the east ward, Ms Death led with 2647, 26.94 per cent, of first-preference votes; Mr West with 1833, 18.65 per cent; Mr Neil 1590, 16.18 per cent; former councillor Natasha Gayfer 1571, 15.99 per cent; former councillor Henry Bleeck 1346, 13.7 per cent; and Deborah Alford-Kerr 839, 8.54 per cent.

In the south ward, Rob Guthrie was the first councillor to be voted in, with 3087 votes, 28.66 per cent; Dominic Bonano 2361, 21.92 per cent; Anne Moore 1492, 13.8 per cent; Christine Walker 1344, 12.4 per cent; Graham Hackett, 1159, 10.7 per cent; Adrian Gauci 968, 8.99 per cent; J.S Amenta, 361, 3.35 per cent.

The west ward was the closest count, with preferences coming in to play. Jennifer Anderson was first elected, despite being fourth in the first preference votes.

West ward’s first preference results were Janet Pearce 1803 votes, 17.29 per cent; Mark Ridgeway 1764, 16.92 per cent; Lenka Thompson 1765, 16.92 per cent; Jennifer Anderson 1764, 16.91 per cent; Wes Turner 1517, 14.54 per cent; Hayden Walsh 752, 7.21 per cent; Diana Abruzzi 614, 5.89 per cent; Brian Wilson 450, 4.31 per cent.

Election manager Kate Daniel declared the result on Thursday at Kyneton Mechanics Institute.

The new council will be officially sworn in on Monday with a welcome to country and smoking ceremony by traditional owners at the Gisborne Administration Centre.

The ceremony will be livestreamed on council’s website for public viewing to abide by COVID-19 restrictions.

The mayor will be elected at a council meeting on November 23, followed by the council’s first official meeting on November 25 – both meetings will be available for viewing online.
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