It’s a waiting game as Cr Sharon Cadwallader waits for the numbers to come in for the Ballina Shire mayoral vote.
It’s a waiting game as Cr Sharon Cadwallader waits for the numbers to come in for the Ballina Shire mayoral vote. Cathy Adams

Little change in councillors

WHILE the Ballina Shire vote count suggests many councillors will retain their seats, some changes could still take place.

Councillors Sharon Cadwallader and David Wright have so far secured the strongest votes at the councillor level. Assuming the current numbers stay the same, Cr Wright, who has recorded close to 39% of the vote in C Ward, will be the only candidate in Ballina Shire to have earned enough votes to make it through to the council on first preferences, while Cr Cadwallader, on 30.4%, will still need a few preferences to get her over the line in B Ward.

Council newcomer Paul Worth, in C Ward, is the Ballina Shire's next most successful candidate so far. He is on 26.6% of the vote, giving him only a short hop on preferences to get into the council.

Sue Meehan, who recorded 15.1% of the mayoral vote, has also done well on the councillor vote, and is currently sitting on 26.3%.

"It looks like nearly all sitting councillors will be returned," Cr Wright said.

"The third person in each ward was always going to be a bit hard to determine, though."

The Greens group tickets in each of the three wards may have backfired on the party, failing to generate strong results for the party's candidates.

B Ward, where sitting councillor and mayoral candidate Jeff Johnson is running, has recorded the strongest Greens vote so far, giving the group 24.7% on the vote. That still leaves Cr Johnson relying on preferences to reach the one third of the vote needed to secure a council spot.

Cr Wright said he would be interested to see how the new council co-operated.

"I just hope whatever we've got we can all work together," he said.

Among the other sitting councillors asking for another term, Robyn Hordern in A Ward has so far secured 20% of the vote, Keith Johnson in C Ward has picked up 10.9% and Ben Smith, also in B Ward, has 7.6%.