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And the winners in the Murray River Council election (so far) are ...

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September 09, 2017

Thousands of people went to the polls today to elect the new Murray River Council. Photo: Luke Hemer

UPDATE September 10: 

GEOFF Wise, Tom Weyrich, Nicole Cohen and Chris Bilkey are almost certain to have a seat on the new Murray River Council.

Moama business man Mr Wise polled the most primary votes in his Greater Murray ward on Saturday night with 34.38 per cent of the vote.

Former Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich was close behind with 25.5 per cent.

But who will make up the third and final seat is still unclear. It will be decided for certain once postal votes are in and preferences distributed later this week.

In terms of primary votes, Moama’s Tony Aquino is next in the lead with 16.8 per cent ahead of former Murray Shire mayor – the man who called for the shire’s suspension – John Pocklington who is on 11.95 per cent.

That’s just ahead of Mathoura’s Nicole Stenhouse who has 11.24 per cent of the vote.

In Moama ward Nicole Cohen managed to secure a staggering lead with 43.56 per cent of the vote and can confidently assume she will be elected.

Next in her race is former Murray Shire councillor Chris Bilkey with 26.53 per cent of the vote.

The two remaining candidates, also former councillors, Gen Campbell and Geoff Mackenzie will fight it out for the third seat.

But it looks likely Ms Campbell will come out on top. She had 19.53 per cent of the vote ahead of Mr Mackenzie’s 10.39 per cent.

In Greater Wakool ward former Wakool Shire mayor Neil Gorey is comfortably on top with 41.13 per cent of the vote.

Former councillor Alan Mathers is also likely to get elected with 24.8 per cent followed by Ann Crowe with 19.78.

Katherine O’Brien and Christine Dartnell took home 7.93 per cent and 6.36 respectively.

After postal votes are counted and preferences distributed “sometime this week” the new council will be officially announced.

Moama mother Mrs Cohen, who works as a pastry chef at Rich River Golf Club, stood on a platform of not promising the world. She did, however, insist she would do everything she could to make the public’s concerns heard.

Mr Wise said he was "thrilled" to have polled the most in his ward.

“I think that’s a sign I am doing okay and trying to do the right thing by them," he said.

Mr Wise is already looking to the future and what influence he can have on the new council.

“One of the first things I want to get done is help with the DAs (development applications),” he said.

“I need to see what we can do to help council get through them quicker.”

EARLIER:  ONLY local government newcomer Nicole Cohen can go home tonight confident she will be one of nine councillors in Murray River Council.

Standing in Moama ward Ms Cohen has polled almost 44 per cent of primary votes, with former Murray Shire councillor Chris Bilkey the best of the rest with 26.5 per cent of votes.

In Greater Murray ward Moama businessman Geoff Wise’s first tilt at election looks on track – he is leading the ward with 34.38 per cent of the primary vote.

Former Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich is right behind him with 25.5 per cent.

John Pocklington, the mayor who called for Murray Shire to be sacked is well down in the count and unlikely to join the newly merged shire.

In MRC’s third ward – Greater Wakool – former Wakool Shire mayor Neil Gorey is leading the vote with 41.13 per cent but is a long way from a majority.

It is almost certain the makeup of the nine-member shire will not be known until later this week , after postal votes are counted and preferences distributed.

More online tomorrow.

EARLIER: WITH more than half the primary votes counted in Greater Murray ward, former Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich and Moama businessman Geoff Wise look certain to be elected to Murray River Council.

Newcomer Tony Aquino is polling well while John Pocklington, the former mayor who called for Murray Shire’s sacking, and Nicole Stenhouse appear out of the running.

In Moama ward local government newcomer Nicole Cohen appears to have an unassailable lead with 45.47 per cent of primary votes counted.

Leaving three former Murray Shire councillors – Geoff Mackenzie, Gen Campbell and Chris Bilkey fighting over the two remaining seats.

With almost half the vote in this ward counted Geoff Mackenzie’s bid to return to council is struggling.

In Greater Wakool ward Neil Gorey is in the lead ahead of Alan Mathers and Ann Crowe.

EARLIER: FORMER Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich is leading the Murray River Council Greater Murray ward election, while newcomer Nikki Cohen is in front for the Moama ward.

Thousands of people went to the polls today, casting their vote for the newly amalgamated council.

In the Greater Murray ward, Mr Weyrich is leading with 234 votes ahead of Geoff Wise (189), Nicole Stenhouse (105), John Pocklington (66) and Tony Aquino (29).

But there are still plenty of votes to be counted.

As of July 31 there were 2662 electors enrolled in this ward. Only 655 votes have been counted.

Nikki is leading the Moama ward with 472 votes ahead of Chris Bilkey (264), Gen Campbell (190) and Geoff Mackenzie (112). There are more than 2500 people enrolled in this ward - 1093 votes have been counted.

Neil Gorey is leading the Greater Wakool ward with 456 votes ahead of Alan Mathers (237) and Ann Crowe (172).

More to come.

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