New Councils form after Local Government Elections

View overlooking Launceston
View overlooking Launceston

Tasmania is divided into 29 municipal areas, with each area having a governing council that is usually com­prised of 7 – 12 councillors.

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission oversaw the recent elections, which were conducted via postal ballot, for which voting was com­pulsory for the first time in the State’s local government history, after recent chang­es were made to the Local Government Act.

The Tamar Valley region is comprised of 3 electorates and had a total of 101 candi­dates across all 3 munici­palities.

Launceston City Council had 33 candidates com­peting for 12 Councillor positions, with 5 candidates also contesting the Mayoral position and 10 candidates contesting the Deputy May­or’s position.

More than 40,700 voter ballots were returned in Launceston, equating to a response rate of 82.32%

Seven new Councillors have been elected to the City of Launceston, with five incumbent Councillors retaining their seats.

Incumbent Councillor Dan­ny Gibson has been elected as Mayor of Launceston, and becomes the 77th person to hold the position, while Matthew Garwood has been elected Deputy Mayor.

First-time Councillors Matthew Garwood, George Razay, Joe Pentridge, An­drew Palmer, Lindi Mc­Mahon, Susie Cai and Alex Britton will join incumbent Councillors Danny Gibson, Hugh McKenzie, Andrea Dawkins, Alan Harris and Tim Walker around the Council table.

Danny Gibson was a popular choice amongst constituents for the City of Launceston with over 5,800 votes being attributed to him, unlike his re-elected colleagues who received between 873-1658 less votes than Cr Gibson.

The West Tamar Council had 20 candidates com­peting for 9 Councillor positions at the West Tamar Council, with 6 candidates also contesting the Mayoral position and 4 candidates contesting the Deputy May­or’s position.

More than 16,500 voter ballots were returned in the West Tamar, equating to a response rate of 87.18%

Two new Councillors have been elected to the West Tamar Council, with 7 in­cumbent Councillors retain­ing their seats.

Christina Holmdahl was again a popular choice amongst constituents for the West Tamar Council with over 2,900 votes being attributed to her. Unlike outgoing Councillors Peter Kearney who only received 909 votes and Tim Woinar­ski, who received only 435 votes.

The George Town Council had 18 candidates compet­ing for 9 Councillor posi­tions at, with 2 candidates also contesting the Mayoral position and 3 candidates contesting the Deputy May­or’s position.

More than 4,800 voter ballots were returned in George Town, equating to a response rate of 85.45%.

Four new Councillors have been elected to the George Town Council, with five incumbent Councillors retaining their seats.

Incumbent Councillor Greg Kieser has been elected as Mayor of George Town, while Greg Dawson has been elected Deputy Mayor.

Councillor Greg Kieser was a popular choice amongst constituents for George Town with 794 votes being attributed to him, closely followed by newly elected councillor, Simone Lowe who received 693 votes, in comparison to Ven Groll­mus, who was the first candidate to be excluded from election with a mere 15 votes.

As always, with any elec­tion, it will be interesting to see new dynamics form between elected officials, and monitor progress on issues that matter to the Tamar Valley community as these newly formed councils discuss and vote on issues over the next 4 years.

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