The votes have been finalised and the preferences allocated, and you officially have your first ever Snowy Valleys Council: Bruce Wright, James Hayes, John Larter, Julia Ham, Cate Cross, Margaret Isselmann, Geoff Pritchard, Cor Smit, and Andrianna Benjamin.
With ten candidates and nine positions it was inevitable that one person was going to miss out. The candidates with the lowest number of first preference votes were Audrey McKenzie and Cor Smit, and it seemed to be touch and go as to who would be cut after preferences were taken into account.
But in the end, Cor Smit has scraped through.
He said he was feeling “very good” about his first term as a councillor.
“I’m really looking forward to it now,” he said.
“It’s been a long drawn out process but we got there in the end. I’d like to congratulate the other candidates who were successful, and to add that I appreciate the support I’ve had from the voters and the other candidates; one or two in particular have been particularly helpful and supportive and encouraging.”
The first council meeting will be held on Thursday September 28 at the Tumbarumba Council Chambers, with the extraordinary meeting taking place at 2pm where the Mayoral election will take place.
The Oath of Affirmation for the councillors will take place prior to the meeting, and will be live streamed.
Mr Smit said he believes the report between the councillors is likely to be largely positive.
“Particularly the original group of us that went to all of the information sessions around the shire, it was an exceptionally good rapport between all of us.”
(That was Bruce Wright, Julia Ham, Cate Cross, James Hayes, and Margaret Isselmann, along with Mr Smit.)
“Some of the previous Tumut councillors may be still harking back to those days a bit, but five or six of us are new, and we’re all looking forward to a new era,” he said.
“While it’s important to appreciate the experience of previous Tumut councillors, we’ve got to be careful not to repeat the Tumut council. There were a lot of problems there, and we’ve got to make sure we can set a whole new standard and a new pace, and that’s, I think, been a message that we’ve got from the people at these various meetings that we’ve been to.”