New mayors to top the table in WQ

Mayoral changes likely for western Queensland councils

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Blackall-Tambo Regional Council mayor Andrew Martin and Winton's Gavin Baskett look like joining Boulia's Rick Britton in being the only mayors in western Queensland assured of retaining their positions at the close of counting in the local government elections on Saturday night.

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Boulia and Blackall-Tambo mayors Rick Britton and Andrew Martin.

Boulia and Blackall-Tambo mayors Rick Britton and Andrew Martin.

Blackall-Tambo Regional Council mayor Andrew Martin and Winton's Gavin Baskett look like joining Boulia's Rick Britton in being the only mayors in western Queensland assured of retaining their positions at the close of counting in the local government elections on Saturday night.

Cr Britton was elected unopposed when nominations closed in early March, while Blackall-Tambo incumbent Cr Martin was leading challenger Peter Skewes 650 votes to 362 with 71pc of the vote counted on Saturday night.

Mr Skewes is a previous Blackall-Tambo deputy mayor.

Next door at the Barcaldine Regional Council, it was a neck-and-neck mayoral race between current mayor Rob Chandler and first-term councillor Sean Dillon, with 64pc of the vote counted.

Cr Dillon had a 3pc lead with 533 votes to Cr Chandler's 500 votes, while the other two candidates in the four-horse race, Bob O'Brien polled 246 votes and Sharon Broughton had 80 votes.

In the 2016 poll, Ms Broughton unsuccessfully challenged Cr Chandler 470 votes to 1308.

There was a possible upset on the cards in the Diamantina shire where with just 29pc of the vote counted, former mayor Robbie Dare had a commanding lead over incumbent Geoff Morton and fellow challenger Michael Dunne.

Mr Dare had received 54pc of the votes to 23pc for each of the other two.

Related: Mayoral jobs hotly contested in western Queensland

The Barcoo Shire Council's current works manager, Sally O'Neill is looking likely to replace retired long-serving mayor Bruce Scott in the top job, receiving 76 votes to rival Shane Buckley's 56 votes in preliminary counting on Saturday night.

In the Longreach mayoral contest, Tony Rayner is polling well enough to have an air of confidence that he will become the next Longreach Regional Council mayor.

With four years as a councillor under his belt, Cr Rayner had 912 votes to challenger Brecken Curtis's 707 votes on Saturday. If successful he will replace Ed Warren who retired on Saturday after serving as mayor for both Winton and Longreach councils in his career.

Sixty-five per cent of the vote had been counted at Longreach, but there are around 500 votes were still to be received and counted.

Winton looked to have lost councillor Travis Harbour on Saturday night after he took on incumbent mayor Gavin Baskett but was trailling 217 votes, or 38pc, to Cr Baskett's 340 votes, or 61pc.

Sixty-seven per cent of the vote had been counted there.

Read more: Samantha O'Toole leading mayoral race in Balonne

Barcaldine councillor contest

Results for the various councillor polls had trickled onto the ECQ page on Sunday morning, including for Barcaldine's six positions, where existing councillors Milynda Rogers (975 votes), Beccy Plumb (818 votes) and Gary Peoples (748 votes) look certain to be returned.

Also polling well were Tom Gleeson (852 votes), Daniel Arthur (702 votes) and Col Hansen (578 votes), with Paul Doneley not far away on 555 votes.

Barcoo councillor contest

The Barcoo shire's only renominating councillor, Dianne Pidgeon had received 105 votes by Sunday morning.

Other candidates with the best headway were Roger Batt (92 votes), Ingrid Miller (78 votes), and Andrew Miller (71 votes).

Blackall-Tambo councillor contest

With nearly 71pc counted in Blackall-Tambo, only slight changes to the current line-up look likely, with newcomer David Hardie topping the poll on 866 votes.

Next highest votes have gone to incumbents, current deputy mayor Lindsay Russell (729 votes), Boyd Johnstone (703 votes), Pam Pullos (669 votes), and Jane Scobie (651 votes).

Former councillor Grahame 'Foot' Schluter has 534 votes to incumbent 'Hector' Heumiller's 363 votes, for the sixth position.

Boulia councillor contest

Current Boulia Shire councillor Sam Beauchamp was polling well with 85 votes, along with hopeful Jack Neilson on 95 votes, after 46pc of the vote was counted there.

There is a neck-and-neck race for the remaining two positions, with Amy Woodhouse receiving 60 votes, Jan Norton 54, and Tim Edgar and Kalinda Cluff 52 each.

Current deputy mayor Rebecka Britton had 25 votes.

Diamantina councillor contest

Based on 29pc of the vote counted and a similarly small number of voters, three existing councillor look likely to be returned in the Diamantina Shire - Doug Coombs has 33 votes, Steve Cramer has 30, and Don Rayment has 28.

With Bev Maunsell vacating the fourth position, it's looking likely that Francis Murray, on 35 votes, will fill that position.

Longreach councillor contest

Official results were still not available on Sunday but sources in Longreach have reported that at 11am, each of the current councillors looking for another term, Leonie Nunn, Tony Martin, Tony Emslie and Trevor Smith were among the top five.

Ilfracombe-based newcomer Tracy Hatch was polling in third place while Isisford hopeful Dale Bignell was in sixth position.

Winton councillor contest

Winton is unusual in having five councillor positions and by Sunday morning, with 67pc counted, existing councillors Tina Elliott (424 votes) and Shane 'Boo' Mann (357 votes) were in safe positions.

Also polling well were Sandy Gillies (325 votes) and former Mount Isa councillor Anne Seymour (297 votes).

Current councillor Joel Mann was in a neck-and-neck tussle with Cathy White, having 284 votes to Ms White's 283.

The Electoral Commission Queensland announced on Saturday that results may be slower than usual to determine, given the restrictions around vote scrutiny, thanks to coronavirus fears, and the number of people that postal voted for the same reason.

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