PORT Macquarie-Hastings voters went to the polls on Saturday and today we have our new mayor - Peter Besseling.
Mr Besseling won the mayoral race ahead of his nearest rival Lisa Intemann.
With voting going to preferences and after seven counts of more than 47,000 votes, Mr Besseling came out on top with a total of 17,062.
In the first Port Macquarie-Hastings Council election in eight years, ungrouped candidate Lisa Intemann finished on 12,812 votes.
Eight people contested the mayoral election. The vote count continues to decide eight councillors.
With the counting of first preferences complete, Peter Besseling is almost 5,500 clear of his next-placed Port Macquarie-Hastings Council mayoral rival.
According to the NSW Electoral Commission website, voter turnout was a touch over 84 per cent.
As of this afternoon, the completed first preference figures in the race for mayor are:
Reg Pierce ..... 2139 Keith Wilkinson ..... 4611
Bob McGowan ..... 2455 Adam Roberts ... 6698
Lisa Intemann ..... 10,151 Sharon Griffiths ..... 1813
Peter Besseling ..... 15,602 Peter Allley ..... 1596
COUNTING is continuing with preferences being allocated this afternoon in a bid to determine the new mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Peter Besseling is still tipped to take the top job.
Our new mayor is expected to be known by tomorrow.
The votes for the mayoral position:
Reg Pierce ..... 2138 Keith Wilkinson ..... 4609
Bob McGowan ..... 2451 Adam Roberts ... 6699
Lisa Intemann ..... 10,149 Sharon Griffiths ..... 1821
Peter Besseling ..... 15,600 Peter Allley ..... 1594
Votes for councillor positions look like this:
Councillor first preferences at 10am Wednesday:
Group A - 14,481 above the line 10,496: Besseling 3298, Turner 299, Levido 148, Hawkins 82
Group B - 2451 above the line 2164: Alley 145, Carmody 30, Lips 33, Hutcheon 13
Group C - 7023 above the line 7141: Roberts 1054, Cusato 242, Crowe 78, Scott 134
Group D - 2414 above the line 1956: S Griffiths 325, Constantine 60, Kanturek 18, J Griffiths 16
Group E - 1753 above the line 1495: Oxenford 119, Ferrier 19, Nu 34, Megget 22
And the ungrouped individuals:
Leigh Fitz-Alan 558 Lisa Intemann 4774 Darren Walsh 1048 Richard Pierce 198
Karyl Coopmans 53 Luke Hadfield 588 Trevor Sargeant 2057 Keith Wilkinson 1705
Shea 50 Styles 302 Reg Pierce 562 McGowan 868
Voting is continuing with preferences being allocated this morning in a bid to determine the new mayor of Port Macquarie Hastings Council. Peter Besseling is still tipped to take the top job.
The clearer picture on our full council won't be any clearer until later in the week.
It is planned to start on Wednesday.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council general manager Tony Hayward said the aim was to give the councillors a "holistic" view of the council.
Topics to be covered include the code of conduct, code of meeting practice and the political context of local government.
Councillors also will take part in a mock council meeting.
The induction program is set to run over a three-month period.
Meanwhile, vote counting continues after Saturday's local government election.Peter Besseling remains the clear frontrunner in the race to become the Port-Macquarie Hastings council's next mayor.
Mr Besseling is 5299 votes ahead of former councillor Lisa Intemann on primary votes, however the final result might yet be determined by preferences.
Mayoral first preferences at 4pm Tuesday:
Reg Pierce ..... 2099 Keith Wilkinson ..... 4543 Bob McGowan ..... 2400
Adam Roberts ... 6568 Lisa Intemann ..... 10,039 Sharon Griffiths ..... 1774
Peter Besseling ..... 15,395 Peter Allley ..... 1538
Councillor first preferences at 4pm Tuesday:
Group A - 14,283 above the line 10,496: Besseling 3264, Turner 297, Levido 147, Hawkins 79
Group B - 2381 above the line 2164: Alley 143, Carmody 29, Lips 32, Hutcheon 13
Group C - 7023 above the line 5531: Roberts 1045, Cusato 241, Crowe 75, Scott 131
Group D - 2370 above the line 1956: S Griffiths 321, Constantine 60, Kanturek 18, J Griffiths 15
Group E - 1689 above the line 1495: Oxenford 119, Ferrier 19, Nu 34, Megget 22
And the ungrouped individuals:
Leigh Fitz-Alan 556 Lisa Intemann 4743 Darren Walsh 1023 Richard Pierce 198
Karyl Coopmans 53 Luke Hadfield 564 Trevor Sargeant 2036 Keith Wilkinson 1690
Gerard Shea 49 Jeff Styles 294 Reg Pierce 557 Bob McGowan 863
Vote counting and vote checking continues today with mayoral election results still expected to be clearer or decided within the next 24 to 36 hours.
There have been no significant differences in the voting trends of the past 24 hours with the mayoral ballot – Peter Besseling is still ahead of Lisa Intemann by around 5,080 votes but the final result is most likely to be determined by preferences.
The most recent Mayoral vote tally is as follows:
Reg Pierce 1,999
Keith Wilkinson 4,401
Bob McGowan 2,340
Adam Roberts 6,446
Lisa Intemann 9,702
Sharon Griffiths 1,723
Peter Besseling 14,784
Peter Alley 1,448
Total Formal Votes Counted 42,843
Total Informal Votes 2,181
Total Ordinary Votes 45,024
6.30pm, Sunday evening
It is still a case of being too close to call as Mayoral candidates and councillor candidates sweat on the counting in the race for the newly-elected PMHC. This evening, Mayoral frontrunner, Peter Besseling said: "I am confident by the time the vote is finished I will be elected mayor," but he stopped short of claiming victory. His main rival, Lisa Intemann, said: "I still maintain the council has the best the best chance to move forward with a mayor who has actual local government experience."
Results at close of counting on Sunday night follow:
The results at hand are as follows:
FOR THE POSITION OF MAYOR
Mayoral first preference votes at 6pm last night
Total formal votes counted: 42,724 of 55,00
Reg Pierce.....................1975 (4.62 per cent)
Keith Wilkinson............4382 (10.26 per cent)
Bob McGowan.............2324 (5.44 per cent)
Adam Roberts .............6423 (15.03 per cent)
Lisa Intemann...............9652 (22.59 per cent)
Sharon Griffiths...................1709 (4 per cent)
Peter Besseling........14,818 (34.68 per cent)
Peter Alley .....................1441 (3.37 per cent)
FOR THE POSITION OF COUNCILLOR
MORE votes are in and above the line voting for councillor positions looks like this:
Group A- Above the line 10,037, 25.78 per cent: Besseling 3131; Turner 282; Levido 136; Hawkins 78.
Group B- Above the line 2033, 8.04 per cent: Alley 133; Carmody 27; Lips 29; Hutcheon 13.
Group C- Above the line 5409, 13.89 per cent: Roberts 1024; Cusato 238; Crowe 74; Scott 129.
Group D- Above the line 1899, 4.88 per cent: S Griffiths 312; Constantine 60; Kanturek 18; J Griffiths 15.
Group E- Above the line 1455 Oxenford 118 Ferrier 17 Nu 33 Megget 21
Ungrouped 12,219, 31.38 per cent.
The latest counts shows that there are no major movers with voting trending along the same lines as the count continues. Peter Besseling and Lisa Intemann are still locked in a battle for mayor with neither willing to make any claims at this stage. Polling officials are not expecting any major announcements today at this stage and have said the shape of the new council may not become clear until later in the week.
MORE votes are in and above the line voting for councillor positions looks like this:
Group A - Above the line 8988 - Besseling 2765; Turner 240; Levido 127; Hawkins 74.
Group B - Above the line 1820 - Alley 113; Carmody 25; Lips 29; Hutcheon 1.
Group C - Above the line 4929 - Roberts 947; Cusato 211; Crowe 74; Scott 122.
Group D - Above the line 1741 - S Griffiths 285; Constantine 55; Kanturek 17; J Griffiths 15.
Group E- Above the line 1346 - Oxenford 103; Ferrier 16; Nu 30; Megget 20.
Fitz-Alan 498 Intemann 4075 Walsh 919
Pierce 185 Koopmans 49 Hadfield 512
Sargeant 1497 Wilkinson 1717 Shea 45
Styles 270 Pierce 487 McGowan 731
THIS is a dark day for the Hastings, mayoral candidate Reg Pierce said.
"I think we have gone backwards," he said. "After so many years of operating under adminsitration, I think the whole electorate, including me, blew it. We had the chance and we lost it."
The mayoral and councillor candidate said his comments were aimed at the system, which favoured groups.
Early councillor election figures indicate groups will claim the majority of spots.
TREVOR Sargeant looks to be a strong contender in the councillor race so far.
On 916 votes, he is second behind Lisa Intemann who has 2048 at 2pm today.
"I was very fortunate that I had a good team of supporters," Mr Sargeant said."Whilst I have experience on the other side of the counter, my political experience is much less."
COUNCILLOR VOTING UPDATE
WITH less than half the vote counted, this is how councillor candidate votes are tallying thus far:
Above the line voting for councillor looks like this:
Group A - Above the line 4051 - Besseling; 1303; Turner 116; Levido 67; Hawkins 31.
Group B - Above the line 854 - Alley 57; Carmody 11; Lips 16; Hutcheon 5
Group C- Above the line 2500 - Roberts 518; Cusato 108; Crowe 37; Scott 78
Group D - Above the line 848 - S Griffiths 157; Constantine 26; Kanturek 8; J Griffiths 5.
Group E - Above the line 644 - Oxenford 53; Ferrier 8; Nu 15 ; Megget 9
Fitz-Alan 204 Intemann 2048 Walsh 488
Pierce 37 Koopmans 20 Hadfield 244
Sargeant 916 Wilkinson 609 Shea 21
Styles 107 Pierce 284 McGowan 354
BESSELING AHEAD IN MAYORAL RACE
MAYORAL candidate Peter Besseling is ahead of his nearest rival, Lisa Intemann, by 4215 votes.That is on first preference votes in the mayoral election.
Mr Besseling's tally sits on 12,470, followed by Lisa Intemann with 8,225 and Adam Roberts on 5,753.
The latest count also shows: Reg Pierce 1703; Keith Wilkinson 3485; Bob McGowan 2051; Sharon Griffiths 1610; Peter Alley 1236.
Just over 36,500 formal votes have been counted.
Eight mayoral hopefuls contested yesterday's council election.
AS IT HAPPENED ON SATURDAY
The Port News will follow election day - our first at local government level in eight years - throughout the day and well into the evening.
You can track us on Twitter, just follow @portmacnews, or just head back to our website in the evening. Live updates will be published from 7pm.
For the first time in eight years, Port Macquarie-Hastings people voted in a local government election today.
The polls closed at 6pm and now the counting begins.
We've finished updating for the night but, of course, will be back tomorrow.
Some early numbers have come through for the councillor positions on the new Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. It's probably best not to read too much into these stats as it is very early.
Above the line voting looks like this:
Group A - Above the line 1322, Besseling 448, Turner 33, Levido 27, Hawkins 12
Group B (Country Labour) 347 - Above the line 303, Alley 29, Carmody 8, Lips 4, Hutcheon 3
Group C 1116 - Above the line 848, Roberts 174, Cusato 42, Crowe 11, Scott 41
Group D 406 - Above the line 334, S Griffiths 61, Constantine 7, Kanturek 2, J Griffiths 2
Group E (The Greens) - Above the line 250, Oxenford 20, Ferrier 2, Nu 8, Megget 5
And the ungrouped individuals:
Leigh Fitz-Alan 76 Lisa Intemann 696 Darren Walsh 102 Richard Pierce 7
Karyl Coopmans 8 Luke Hadfield 37 Trevor Sargeant 303 Keith Wilkinson 213
Gerard Shea 1 Jeff Styles 35 Reg Pierce 94 Bob McGowan 124
It will be a fantastic result regardless of the final outcome, mayoral and councillor candidate Adam Roberts believes.
Mr Roberts had spent today going around 22 polling booths. With about 100 helpers, he thanked all of his dedicated supporters who had handed out his fliers for many hours up to 6pm.
His Group C team - Mike Cusato, Ann-Maree Crowe and Glenn Scott - gathered with the volunteers at the back of Growers Market to watch the results trickle in.
The group were confident they were strong contenders to become councillors. But, Mr Roberts was not confident he had snagged the mayoral spot.
He believed Peter Besseling was the strongest contender in for mayor.
"If elected as a councillor, I would fully support whoever becomes mayor and my team feel the same," Mr Roberts said.
Counting has slowed down a little on the race for mayoral honours. And who can blame them? It's been a long day for everyone. The latest count is:
Peter Besseling 10,258
Lisa Intemann 7032
Adam Roberts 4934
Keith Wilkinson 2910
Bob McGowan 1646
Reg Pierce 1513
Sharon Griffiths 1322
Peter Alley 1077
Sharon Griffiths was sure she was not the only candidate to be feeling rather exhausted after today's voting.
The mayoral candidate handed out fliers all day at Emerald Downs. After hours on the hustings she headed to her Telegraph Point for dinner but, Mrs Griffiths said, every time she tried to take a bite, the phone would ring.
Mrs Griffiths believes a number of contenders will figure strongly. Peter Besseling, Keith Wilkinson, Adam Roberts and Lisa Intemann were her picks to do well at the polls.
"As there are 32 candidates, it's a bit of a lucky dip to know who else will get in," she said.
Aware of the environment, Mrs Griffiths thought the many papers and posters around the Hastings were a little excessive. She believed the message could have been put across through large posters or reading booths.
"There could have been more effort to ensure the minimal amount of waste," Mrs Griffiths said.
The results are trending in the right direction, mayoral candidate Peter Besseling says.
“I’m very excited,” he said tonight. “Obviously our campaign was very successful and at this point in time, it’s trending in the right direction.”
The mayoral race would without a doubt come down to preferences and exhausted preferences, he said.
“I note that none of the leading [mayoral] candidates have indicated preferences on their how to vote but you don’t know if voters preferenced on their ballot sheets," he said.
Mr Besseling summed up as “very positive” the feeling around the polling locations today.
"Uncertain" was how Keith Wilkinson was feeling about his chances of becoming our mayor.
"I've got no idea what will happen," Mr Wilkinson said from the Wauchope Country Club. "It's now up to the community."
Mr Wilkinson spent the day posted at Lake Cathie after one of his 33 volunteers was in a car accident this morning. She was uninjured.
Mr Wilkinson said much of the voting was done before 2pm. "A lot of people who came through had already made up their minds," he said.
Mr Wilkinson hoped the community would come out on top with whoever was elected, through representation from a broad spectrum of people. He highlighted Bob McGowan and Luke Hadfield as candidates who brought diversity to the mix.
"Bob represents the rural area and Luke is connected with the younger community," Mr Wilkinson said. He and Mr McGowan is spending the evening together with many of Mr Wilkinson's volunteers in Wauchope.
It's been a tiring yet rewarding experience for this mayoral and councillor candidate from the bush. Bob McGowan reckons he'll grow from time he spent on the campaign trail.
"I've made heaps of friends and I've got a lot of time for many of the other candidates," Mr McGowan said from the Wauchope Country Club tonight. Keeping it simple and at all times honest was the way Mr McGowan approached campaigning. He thanked a Wauchope printing company, M and S Printers, for all their hard work in putting together his posters and cards. Mr McGowan joked he even used one of his cards to ask a woman out on a date.
"She hasn't said yes yet, but we'll see," he said with a grin.
Mr McGowan was not confident he was a strong contender in the mayoral race but remained hopeful he could snag a spot as a councillor.
"I just hope this side of the highway can be represented by someone," he said.
His tip for the top job was Peter Besseling.
Peter Besseling is staying ahead of the chasing pack with about 30,000 of the 55,000 votes counted. Will he claim victory tonight? The state of play is:
Peter Besseling 9874
Lisa Intemann 6765
Adam Roberts 4746
Keith Wilkinson 2279
Bob McGowan 1544
Reg Pierce 1457
Sharon Griffiths 1281
Peter Alley 1037
At the moment, and remember this is initial counting, Peter Besseling has the numbers at 18 booths. That includes a few of the biggies - Westport High, Hastings Public and Port Macquarie High.
Mayoral rival Lisa Intemann is ahead at 11 booths - many of them smaller sites on the fringes of the local government area.
The initial count for the mayoral race looks like this ... Adam Roberts is cranking out some votes as reports from some of the larger centres begin to come in.
Peter Besseling 7785
Lisa Intemann 5355
Adam Roberts 3690
Keith Wilkinson 2211
Bob McGowan 1134
Reg Pierce 1036
Sharon Griffiths 1009
Peter Alley 862
The mayoral vote could come down to preferences, candidate Lisa Intemann said.
“I still look forward to leading a progressive council and will know more after preferences are distributed,” Ms Intemann said. “Whatever the outcome, I will work in an elected council for the betterment of the area.”
The mayoral and councillor candidate tonight thanked her team and her loyal voters.
“Elections cannot take place without the many people who contribute their time over an extended period of time,” she said.
Here's how the race for the mayoral robes is looking:
Peter Besseling 4184
Lisa Intemann 3239
Adam Roberts 1987
Keith Wilkinson 1210
Bob McGowan 743
Sharon Griffiths 728
Reg Pierce 659
Peter Alley 467
With 10 booths counted, it's 7-3 to Lisa Intemann over fellow mayoral hopeful Peter Besseling. All but one are small, outlying booths.
The single medium-size booth is Tacking Point. Besseling won that one, 832-503 over Intemann.
The top three standings at the moment are:
Peter Besseling 2217 Lisa Intemann 1841 Adam Roberts 964
Lisa Intemann has fared well at a number of smaller booths. She has won at Hollisdale, Long Flat, North Shore, Rollands Plains and Telegraph Point.
It's way to early to suggest the mayoral vote is a two-person race, but for the moment with all of 2000 votes counted, the top three are:
Lisa Intemann 542 Peter Besseling 487 Keith Wilkinson 223
Early, early numbers on the way ... Of the enrolment of 55,570 we have all of 287 votes counted. Yes, one booth is complete. The mayoral numbers look like this:
Reg Pierce: 38
Keith Wilkinson: 20
Bob McGowan: 77
Adam Roberts: 13
Lisa Intemann: 80
Sharon Griffiths: 32
Peter Besseling: 25
Peter Alley: 2
Candidates' volunteers out in force across local polling booths. They say they are enjoying a chat, despite wearing shirts from "other camps".
Although the volunteers at the School of Arts in Laurieton are rugged up and jumping around to keep warm! They're freezing in the shade... contrast to St Peter the Fisherman Hall where volunteers are basking in this glorious sunshine!
One volunteer said: "It's quite a pleasant thing to do this. We're swapping stories. If there was conflict I'd go home."
Mayoral and councillor candidate Adam Roberts will visit about 15 polling booths today.
“I’m feeling excited,” he said about election day. “It’s out of my hands now.”
He plans to visit polling locations around Port Macquarie, Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills, and hopefully Laurieton, and will thank his volunteers in the process.
Mr Roberts, as a mayoral and councillor candidate, heads a team of councillor contenders Mike Cusato, Ann-Maree Crowe and Glenn Scott.
Mr Roberts said he had left no stone unturned during the election campaign which included meeting thousands of people.
“I don’t think I could have done any more,” he said.
Eight candidates are contesting the mayoral race.
“I’m excited there is a strong challenge for the mayor,” Mr Roberts said.
Mayoral hopeful Peter Besseling paid tribute to the team effort as election day hit top speed.
Mr Besseling will visit as many polling places as possible.
“I’m looking forward to it – I’m also looking forward to the tally, there is no doubt about it,” he said this morning.
Voting closes at 6pm.
“The good thing about election day is you get to go around the booths and thank the supporters,” Mr Besseling said.
"The feeling I'm getting is very positive ... but there is a fairly large majority of people who don't indicate one way or the other."
The mayoral and councillor candidate’s team also consists of councillor candidates Rob Turner, Justin Levido and Geoff Hawkins.
There are 32 candidates contesting the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council election.
“For the majority of it, the campaign has been very positive from everyone,” Mr Besseling said.
And in Wauchope ...
Two of Wauchope’s mayoral and councillor hopefuls were on the hustings early today trying to win places on the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
of Wauchope’s mayoral and councillor hopefuls were on the hustings early today trying to win places on the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
Reg Pierce said he was feeling good about the election.
“Yeah mate, I am reasonably confident,” Mr Pierce said. “I think we have done the best we can with the limited funds I have available.
“Democracy takes over today and the people will decide. I will be going through all the booths we are manning today and to make sure they are okay and will be keeping the pamphlets up to them.”
Mr Pierce said he would be attending the Wauchope Rotary Club’s 60th anniversary dinner tonight.
He was looking forward to the result which could be available later tonight.
Fellow candidate, Lisa Intemann, said she was uncertain how the vote would turn out, given the large number of candidates.
“It is a wonderful day for an election … I am quietly confident, but with so many candidates it is hard to pick,” she said. “Voters are really confused with the number of candidates.
“So I am just hoping that my message of honesty in local government that has been out there [in the community] for a number of years … will be recognised by the voters.”
Ms Intemann said she would be spending the day trying to get to as many booths as possible.
“I’ve already been to Long Flat, Byabarra, Huntingdon and Wauchope High School,” she said. “I will be travelling to the indoor stadium before heading to Port Macquarie and then the Camden Haven. Hopefully I will also get to Telegraph Point too,” she said.
Check out what is happening elsewhere in the state.