Former mayors and first timers in the mix for Hilltops

Former shire mayors and some first timers will make up the mix of the first Hilltops Council.

As the Witness goes to press the 11 official councillors have not been announced by the NSW electoral commission but with first preference votes counted, we can confirm some of the names that will sit on the inaugural council.

Young’s Brian Ingram (1462), Boorowa’s Wendy Tuckerman (1215), Young’s John Walker (1173) and Harden’s Tony Flanery (951) are safely on the council with first preference votes whilst Harden’s Chris Manchester only needs a handful of preferences to secure his spot.

The remaining positions will all rely on preferences to gain a seat on the council.

Due to the high number of first preference votes Wendy Tuckerman received one of her running mates may gain a place on to the council with preferences.

Candidates who gained more than 600 votes are in a good position to claim victory after preferences have been allocated.

So we may see Matt Stadtmiller, Tony Wallace, Greg Armstrong, Rita O’Connor, Margaret Roles and John Horton scrape through and take a seat on the council.

More than six percent of votes were informal which is similar in size to the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional and Snowy Monaro Regional council votes. Hilltops council had 758 informal votes.

Amongst the informal ballot papers were votes for Bart Simpson and Pauline Hanson. But the most frequent occurrence on informal ballot papers was ticks and crosses instead of numbering one to six and obscene words.

Hilltops returning officer Peter Seymour said he was impressed with first time voters. “We did see a lot of young first time voters who signed up asking for candidate information,” he said. “That leads me to believe they were seeking to make an informed and formal vote.”