Half the 10 Elected Member positions become vacant at each Ordinary Election, which are held every two years. However, six positions were contested this year due to a readjustment of Councillor representation across Wards.
This year one vacancy was for a two year term and the rest of the vacancies are for the usual four year terms. Just over 24,500 votes were submitted this year with roughly a quarter of eligible electors participating in the vote.
The two vacancies for Rockingham Ward were filled by returning Councillor Joy Stewart 2849 votes (33.20%) and new Councillor Kelly McManus with 2811 votes (32.76%) out of a total 8,581 valid votes.
The two vacancies for Safety Bay Ward were filled by Katherine Summers with 2,560 votes (28.18%) and Councillor Leigh Liley returning for a fifth term with 2,420 votes (26.64%) out of a total 9,085 valid votes. Councillor Liley will fulfill a two year term ending in 2017.
There was one vacancy for Baldivis Ward, filled by Lee Downham with 784 (25.90%) out of 3027 valid votes. Once vacancy for Comet Bay was filled by returning Councillor Chris Elliott with 1412 votes (36.79%) out of a total 3838 valid votes.
New Councillors will be welcomed at a special Swearing in Ceremony this evening, Monday 19 October, when the Mayoral and Deputy Mayor elections will also take place.
City of Rockingham Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Hammond said: “I would like to welcome successful new candidates Katherine Summers, Lee Downham and Kelly McManus to the City of Rockingham Council. It is an exciting time to join Council as we commence the next phase to accommodate high growth in the area.
“There will be a lot of work ahead for this Council and I am confident their stewardship of the region will retain the very best interests of their respective communities, while accommodating the challenges of being in a high growth region.
“I congratulate reelected Councillors Chris Elliott for Comet Bay and Joy Stewart for Rockingham Ward for another four year term, and Leigh Liley for Safety Bay for a two year term. This result really shows their community appreciates the work they are doing on their behalf.
“On behalf of the City I would like to express my gratitude for the genuine and sensitive leadership, demonstrated by outgoing Councillor for Safety Bay, Ron Pease. Thank you to retiring Councillors, Allan Hill OAM JP and Richard Smith, both long time community advocates who have guided many important decisions of the City and helped to put in place solid future plans and strategies that will ensure the region develops in a cohesive and affordable way that addresses the expectations of the community.”
Elections are conducted by postal voting with all eligible residents forwarded voting papers for their respective ward for completion and return by prepaid post.
The ‘first past the post’ system is used for Local Government elections, in which electors indicate the candidate, or candidates, of their choice by placing a tick in the box opposite the names of the chosen persons, up to the number of vacancies to be filled, with candidates being elected in order of the number of votes they receive.