A woman was elected to the York Shire Council at the elections held on October 20 in one of the lowest turn outs of voters in the Council’s recent history.

Only 716 of 2413 (about 29.5%) of those eligible cast a vote in the elections. This was in contrast with the previous election when 54% of voters cast a vote to elect the newly constituted six member council that took over from Commissioner, Gavan Troy, in May last year.

It was a case of second time lucky for Councillor, Tricia Walters, who was one of 13 candidates in the 2006 elections. Of the primary votes retiring president, Pat Hooper, received 313 votes, Tricia Walters 192, Trevor Randell 140 and Mick Delich 70. After the distribution of preferences, Trevor Randell polled 223 votes, Tricia Walters 192 and Mick Delich, 120.

This year’s election was conducted under the proportional preferential system introduced in an amendment to the Local Government Act last year. It also involved the use of computers to count votes and distribute preferences.

CEO, Ray Hooper, said the use of computers had cut the time taken to finalize the count from 4½ hours under the manual system to 1½ hours with the declaration of the poll made at 7.30pm.

Of the votes, 540 were cast in person at the polling booth at the Shire office. Of the remainder, 21 were cast at Talbot, 32 at Greenhills, 33 (including one informal) were postal votes and 90 were early votes. About a dozen people turned up to observe the count and hear the results on the Saturday night.

The new councillors were sworn in at a special meeting on Monday, October 22, joining sitting members, Brian Lawrance, Ashley Fisher and Tony Boyle. Pat Hooper was re-elected president and Brain Lawrance vice president.

Lindsay McNeill



Returning Officer, Ray Hooper (L), declares the results of the poll.
The successful candidates, (L-R) Trevor Randell, Pat Hooper and Tricia  Walters after the declaration of the poll.