With a first name of Diamantina, Winton’s newest councillor could have been named for the job of representing her community.
Better known as Tina Elliott, the grazier and active community representative was the overwhelming winner of the Winton Shire Council by-election held to fill the vacancy left when Gavin Baskett was elected mayor late last year.
Cr Baskett was elected mayor upon the death of popular mayor, Butch Lenton, from cancer at the beginning of October.
Of the eight candidates contesting the by-election, Ms Elliott polled 36.2 per cent of the vote, or 229 votes.
The candidate with the next highest number of votes was John Bowden, a local plumber, with 100 votes, or 15.8pc, closely followed by a previous councillor, Robyn Stephens, with 88 votes or 13.9pc.
Another of the unsuccessful candidates was Debbie Nichols, who also contested the mayoral by-election last November.
Ms Elliott just missed out on becoming a councillor at the 2016 local government election, polling 43 votes less than the last person elected, Cr Travis Harbour.
She will be the only councillor with a rural address, joining councillors Joel Mann, Shane ‘Boo’ Mann, Judy Sale and Travis Harbour, and mayor Gavin Baskett.
As a self-described “true blue” Wintonite – her parents lived on either side of the Diamantina River growing up and gave their eldest child that name when she was born – she stood because she wanted her children and their mates to have the same chances she did.
After a number of years tutoring her children through the Longreach School of Distance Education, she’s now a “weekly boarder” in Winton so her son can attend a local school.
“I see families leaving town and I want to do what I can to change that and keep jobs in our community,” she said.