It was announced on Saturday, September 16 and officially declared Monday, September 18 that Gloucester’s Katheryn Smith will be part of the first MidCoast Council.
At the end of the primary count late last week only six of the 11 seats where filled with David Keegan, Jan McWilliams, Brad Christensen, Len Roberts, Peter Epov and Troy Fowler (listed in the order of elected) reaching quota.
This meant the final five seats were to be decided by preferences, which Ms Smith felt confident about based on the preferences she negotiated before the election, as well as the support she’d received from some of the ungrouped candidates.
A couple of the ungroup candidates were actively encouraging people to vote for Ms Smith as their number two below the line. As candidates began to be exluded, due to their vote count being too low, their votes shifted to the second preference.
Over the weekend, when NSW Electoral Commission announced the final result, Ms Smith was on the list.
Along with Ms Smith, the final councilors are: Kathryn Bell, Claire Pontin, David West and Karen Hutchinson.
“Gloucester has gone through a lot,” Ms Smith said.
"It used to have a council and its own general manager, so it’s important that Gloucester has a voice.”
For these reasons, she’s “over the moon” about getting elected.
But now it’s down to business, with not much time to waste on celebrating.
MidCoast councillors will take the oath of office at a ceremony at 1pm in the Taree council chambers on Wednesday, September 27, followed by the inaugural council meeting.
Election of mayor will be the first item of business.
MidCoast Council's general manager Glenn Handford has invited the new councillors to participate in several workshops, that will assist them in their new roles and provide background on MidCoast Council since May 2016, prior to the council meeting at 2pm on September 27 .
“We welcome members of the public to attend to celebrate the election of our new council."
Council meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.
The elected councillors will also decide where the council will be based.