Big win for Michelle

MAYORS in the Derwent Valley, Central Highlands and Brighton municipalities have been returned for four year terms after Tasmania’s first election where voting was compulsory.

Derwent Valley Mayor Michelle Dracoulis won convincingly with 59 per cent of the vote ahead of rivals Peter Binny and Philip Bingley. Incumbent Deputy Mayor Jessica Cosgrove lost to councillor Luke Browning with the new deputy securing 56 per cent of the vote. Ms Cosgrove was re-elected as a councillor.

In the Central Highlands, incumbent Lou Triffitt was returned unopposed and Deputy Jim Allwright was returned with 67 per cent of the vote. Brighton Mayor Leigh Gray secured 52 per cent of the vote and his deputy Barbara Curran was also returned.

Mrs Dracoulis, who has been in the role since March following a by-election, thanked the community for their confidence and support. “There is work to be done, and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue in my role as our community leader and advocate,’’ Mrs Dracoulis said. “We are living in an exciting and sometimes challenging time of growth and change.“Our response to this change must be carefully managed to ensure that our regional identity is recognised, maintained and celebrated. “The wellbeing of our community is at the heart of my every action and I look forward to chairing a council that is connected, responsive, respectful and forward-thinking.

Ms Cosgrove said she had given her all. “I am absolutely elated to announce that Cr Cosgrove is still around to serve the community for another four years,’’ Ms Cosgrove said. “While I received the most first and second votes for the Deputy Mayor position (it was very close) once the preferences were distributed I finished up second. “I am overwhelmed and grateful to have the support I received, considering there were a large number of exceptional candidates.’’

The Derwent Valley Council will have a mix of new and old councillors. Along with Mrs Dracoulis, Mr Browning and Ms Cosgrove, Matt Hill and Phil Bingley were returned and new councillors Sara Lowe, Peter Binny and Justin Derksen were elected. Former councillor Julie Triffett retired at the election and councillors Natasha Wood and James Graham were not returned. A swearing-in ceremony will be held for the new council at 6pm on Tuesday, November 8 on the lawns outside Council Chambers. The community is invited to attend and welcome the new council.

Brighton councillors who were successful at the poll were Phil Owen, Greg Irons, Tennile Murtagh, Aaron De La Torre, Peter Geard, Michael Whelan and John McMaster.

Central Highlands councillors who were successful were Tony Bailey, Robert Cassidy, John Hall, Julie Honner, Scott Bowden, Yvonne Miller and Dabvid Meacheam. In the Derwent Valley, 83 per cent of voters returned a ballot, in the Central Highlands 85 per cent and in Brighton 81 per cent.