Preference counting to determine result

2nd April 2016 5:00 AM
AWAITING RESULT: Division 4 candidates Charles Hodgson, Tyrone D’Lisle, Peter Campbell-Kerr, Myles Blackwell, Geoff Peters, John Hutchinson and John Connolly. Warren Lynam

THE long road to the formal election of the new Sunshine Coast Council will resume Monday morning with the distribution of preferences in Division Three and Four.

Returning officer Robin Boyd has advised all 11 candidates across the two council divisions that as none of them has achieved a primary vote majority preference, distribution would be necessary to determine who will be the elected candidates. His office has rechecked all votes taken so far with less than 100 votes now on hand to be included in the counts for each division.

Mr Boyd was expecting advice from Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) by last night on the admissibility of some voters who had cast a ballot but whose names could not be found on the roll. Even if given currency those won't play a roll in determining the outcome.

Preference distribution will get under way at the Maud Street Nambour returning office from 9am Monday with four people engaged in each of the two counts.

Candidates may also be represented by four scrutineers each in each division.

In Division Three Cr Peter Cox appears set for re-election even if he fails to achieve an absolute majority after preferences. That is because the flow is unlikely to be strong enough to provide his closest challenger Steve Barclay with sufficient votes to overcome his lead.

Equally in Division Four John Connolly looks most likely in a field of seven where he is eight percentage points ahead of his nearest rival Geoff Peters. All the ballots for the candidates below him would have to preference John Hutchinson for him to overtake the front runner.

Meanwhile in Noosa, new Mayor Tony Wellington is looking forward to leading his first council meeting at 11am Tuesday following the formal swearing in of the council from 9.30am.

He said the first order of business would be bringing new councillors up to speed with the organisation's operations before getting down to the job of formulating a budget for the 2016-17 financial year.

The challenge to the result from seventh-placed candidate Elaine Williams was rejected late Thursday by the Electoral Commission Queensland Commissioner.

The declaration of the poll has seen Jess Glasgow, Ingrid Jackson and Brian Stockwell join returning incumbent councillors Frank Wilkie, Frank Pardon and Joe Jurisevic in a council headed by Mr Wellington.

Ms Williams had sought a recount after she finished just 10 votes behind Mr Stockwell for the sixth councillor spot.

She said it had been rejected on the basis of Section 100: Part 1 of the Queensland Local Government Electoral Act which refers to have a timely declaration of the result.