Pennisi set to become mayor – but not yet declared

Vic Pennisi.

By Jeremy Sollars

Vic Pennisi is poised to take office as Mayor of the Southern Downs Regional Council in the coming few days – but the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is yet to formally ‘declare’ the mayoral result.

It is understood further counting of both postal, telephone and preference votes today – Wednesday 1 April – has further increased Vic Pennisi’s lead in the mayoral count over Tracy Dobie to a point where remaining votes to be counted will not alter the outcome of his taking office as mayor.

As at the close of counting today Pennisi remained ahead of Tracy Dobie by just over 1700 votes, and that lead is expected to significantly increase either later tonight or tomorrow, Thursday.

A formal declaration of the mayoral result had been a possibility today but could happen as late as next Monday or Tuesday, but is effectively a formality.

The region’s residents have been closely watching the outcome of vote counting, requiring certainty about local leadership ongoing.

Vic Pennisi will take office during a period of economic and social upheaval created by COVID-19 and his first task is certain to be formulating the new council administration’s local response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Counting of councillor votes is continuing and that formal result may not be declared until early next week.

As of late today, Ross Bartley remained well ahead in first position on 9157 votes (5.91%) followed by these further top 12 candidates (eight councillors to be elected) –

• Cameron Gow – 8052 (5.2%)

• Jo McNally – 7943 (5.13%)

• Andrew Gale – 7781 (5.02%)

• Sheryl Windle – 7683 (4.96%)

• Marco Gliori – 7404 (4.78%)

• Cynthia McDonald – 7263 (4.69%)

• Stephen Tancred – 7118 (4.59%)

• Glyn Rees – 6942 (4.48%)

• Russell Wantling – 6908 (4.46%)

• Rod Kelly – 6802 (4.39%)

• Michael Jensen – 6559 (4.23%)

• Yve Stocks – 6195 (4%)

All other candidates are currently polling under 4%.

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