The first Dubbo Regional Council is taking shape, as the counting continues after Saturday’s poll.
Only a handful of representatives have secured their place on the new council by achieving the required quota: Jane Diffey (North ward), Ben Shields (North ward), John Ryan (Central ward), Dayne Gumley (East ward), Kevin Parker (South ward) and Greg Mohr (South ward).
By 3pm on Tuesday, the two Wellington places were still officially in doubt, although former Wellington deputy mayor David Grant has secured 0.9 of the quota after first preferences, while former mayor Anne Jones (0.68) sits ahead of Adam Ryan (0.53).
Ben Shields’ Team candidate Vicki Etheridge (0.85) looked set to claim the second seat in Dubbo’s Central ward, while Country Labor candidate Stephen Lawrence was less than 50 votes short of achieving the quota in East ward.
Attention has now turned to the race for mayor, with many candidates remaining elusive about their intentions.
Former Dubbo City councillor Kevin Parker has indicated his intention to run, while John Ryan, Jane Diffey and Greg Mohr all said maybe.
Former Dubbo City deputy mayor Ben Shields declined to comment, while running mate Vicki Etheridge said not this time.
Mr Grant has for now ruled out a tilt at the top job, but did not rule out putting his hand up for deputy mayor.
“I don't think I just have the time to run as a mayor and once again probably even the experience to understand the Dubbo side of things,” he said.
“I think the mayor needs to come from Dubbo.”
He said a full-time mayor needed to be considered.
“With the population size, I think having a full-time mayor is certainly a benefit because at least they can then put their whole energies into that role,” Mr Grant said.
“I think doing it part-time and balancing work would be very hard.
“I want to see what they can offer not just Dubbo but us down in Wellington. We certainly don’t want to be left behind so we want to ensure that Wellington is going to get their fair share … whoever may be the mayor.”