Guyra Shire will have one new face when it meets this month following the elections last Saturday. In what was close fought contest, the counting went to the fourth round of preferences to decide the final two places.
Initial counting saw newcomer Simon Murray just edging out sitting councillor Dorothy Vickery as the front runner on first preferences. They were able to comfortably take their place on council in the first round of voting along with Audrey McArdle who polled strongly in Tingha and Dean Heagney with a strong showing in Guyra.
It was a different story for current Mayor Hans Hietbrink and sitting councillor Lee Martin who were forced to wait until late Wednesday to find out if they had made the cut.
It was clear when first results starting coming in on Saturday night that Simon Murray has a strong following in the community. He topped the count at all booths except for Tingha and the pre-poll recording 461 (18.82 %) of the first preference votes. It was a result that surprised and pleased Mr Murray who said he owes the result to a strong team that got behind his campaign.
While he would not confirm that he would challenge for the position of Mayor he did say that it was an option and would depend on developments prior to the first meeting of the new council which will take place on September 24.
Current Mayor Hans Hietbrink indicated that he intends to recontest the position of Mayor. He told the Argus that he was pleased with being returned to council and was looking forward to working with the new team.
Dorothy Vickery received 450 first preference votes (18.37 %), Audrey McArdle 390 votes (15.92%), Dean Heagney 353 votes (14.41%) Hans Hietbrink 283 votes (11.56%), Lee Martin 249 votes (10.17%), Tish Ellem 158 votes (6.45%) and Paul Fleming 105 votes (0.30%).
Simon Murray topped the vote
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