THE Orange City Council chamber is guaranteed to be filled with six fresh faces following Saturday’s local government election, with at least two current councillors unlikely to retain their seats.
The incumbency of councillors Chris Gryllis and Sam Romano failed to give them the advantage, with each taking only 1.26 and 0.72 per cent of the first preference vote respectively.
Voters instead steered towards former member for Orange Russell Turner’s group in a big way.
Taking out 24.17 per cent of the first preference votes as of yesterday afternoon, Mr Turner not only secured his own spot on council but is likely to drag in numbers two and three on his ticket, Scott Munro and Ash Brown, and may even help fourth candidate Dave Shearing over the line.
Mayor John Davis’ group also racked up the votes with 20.86 per cent of the first preference votes indicating number two on his ticket Cr Jason Hamling will stay on, with the possibility number three Michael Gray could also make it to council.
But with preferences still to be taken into account and a final count not due to later in the week, things could change.
Mr Turner said he was quietly confident his team would secure three spots on council and may even stretch it to four.
“I’m not totally surprised [at the result] but I’m still very pleased,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to working with John [Davis]. We’ve both got a lot of respect for each other.”
Mr Turner said he had publicly supported the pipeline project but believed the voting on Saturday was driven by a combination of issues facing the council, such as the controversial water security solution and the personalities of candidates.
Cr Jason Hamling said the results were great news for Cr Davis’ team.
“You’re always not going to please everybody but for us to get nearly three on, obviously our vote has gone up,” he said.
“There were a lot of people not standing ... there were votes flying everywhere.”
With his team taking 11.3 per cent of the first preference vote, Cr Glenn Taylor will retain his seat on council but running mate deputy mayor Jeff Whitton’s place is still in doubt.
“Jeff and I are acutely aware of how tough it is to get two on,” he said.
“Jeff will be fighting it out for one of the last positions."
“I always knew it would be more or less a presidential ballot between Russell and John.”
Cr Reg Kidd will stay on, taking 11.98 per cent of first preferences, the most of any individual candidate, as will Greens ticket leader Cr Neil Jones, with the group scoring 9.66 per cent, casting doubt over Sarah Buckingham’s spot on council.
Groups led by election newcomers Ron Gander and Brian Wood failed to score highly, only attracting 5.72 and 4.33 per cent of first preferences respectively.
As expected, individual candidates below the line felt the squeeze of the groups, with Kevin Duffy still tipped to have a chance of a lower position on council once preferences are added to his 2.47 per cent.
Election veterans Gail Copping and Rob Williamson again appear to have missed out on a seat, scoring 1.81 and 1.49 per cent of first preferences respectively.
Newcomers Troy Sweeting and Aaron Wright are also unlikely to get over the line, each only taking 1.89 and 1.76 per cent.
John Davis could not be reached for comment.
The 12 councillors will be finalised by Friday once postal votes and preferences are allocated.