IT LOOKS like incumbent mayor Mick Curran has been elected to preside over Gympie Regional Council for the next four years.
Mr Curran is celebrating at a Gympie restaurant tonight but with about a third of the mayoral votes (11,345) counted, he has sealed close to 70% with 7522 votes.
Derek Hume, the candidate put up by the hydrotherapy group in its well run campaign to pressure the council into building and maintaining a hydrotherapy pool, has 1960 votes so far.
George Groth, who sportsbet described as the roughie (in betting terms) in this election, is not far behind Mr Hume with 1353 votes.
Mr Curran came under considerable fire during the election campaign over a perceived issue with the authority of his CEO Bernard Smith, and over the handling of several senior staff changes, particularly former planning director Mike Hartley.
But it seems it wasn't enough to convince voters they wanted a change.
The former police officer was awarded a bravery award by Governor General Peter Cosgrove this week for an incident that occurred when he was a young office 26 years ago.
The sweet timing of the award no doubt did not harm his campaign.
Mick Curran takes early lead in vote
INCUMBENT Mayor Mick Curran appears to have taken an early lead in the polls, though nothing official has been noted as yet and the count is only an hour in.
In Division 1 of the Gympie region (the Cooloola Coast) the incumbent Mark McDonald is feeling cautiously optimistic after the first count of votes at Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach.
"I am ahead after Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach but I have got to wait on Cooloola Cove," Mr McDonald has just told the Gympie Times.
Cooloola Cove could sway the results, with about 1150 votes to come in from that booth.
Cr McDonald also cryptically said some things had occurred out that way he had not been too happy about but that it would all be discussed after the election.
Meanwhile, reports are coming through that Julie Walker could be in trouble in Division 8 (Long Flat and Lagoon Pocket out to the Mary Valley) after holding that seat on the council right back to the days of the Widgee Shire Council.
Young gun James Cochrane was always going to give Mrs Walker a run for her money.
In Division 2, incumbent Rae Gate could also be in trouble, and Division 4 is extremely close.
Division 4 is contested by incumbent Wayne Sachs, who told The Gympie Times earlier this afternoon the "vibe" he had received today had not been as good as in previous years.
It is also be contested by Barter St businessman Ross Caulfield, who said this afternoon he was "feeling good" about things, as well as former councillor Graham Engeman, local doctor Daryl Dodt and Glenn Tierney.
At last look it appeared as if the ECQ election results page had crashed. Let's hope it is up and running soon.
The polling booth at Tin Can Bay (Division 1) has this so far:
Mick Curran 872 votes
George Groth 136
Derek Hume 137
The polling booth at Goomboorian (Division 2):
Mick Curran has 254 votes
George Groth has 76 votes
Derek Hume has 115 votes
Mr Curran is also believed to be polling very well in the count so far on the Southside.
Storms have wreaked havoc in parts of the Gympie region tonight and the end of a long and sultry election day.
Veteran was hit with torrential rain and fierce winds, bringing branches down and cutting the power about two hours ago.
Vote counting has been relocated from the Veteran Hall into Tozer St.
Power was also lost at Imbil, Kandanga and Amamoor in the storm but came back on after about 90 minutes.
Voting will continue until 10pm tonight.
We will bring you more counting results as soon as they come to hand.
COUNTING has begun in the 2016 Gympie Regional Council election and The Gympie Times will bring you the results as they become available over the next few hours.
Returning officer Ken Garner and his team of eight will begin counting the Gympie votes and the thousands of pre-poll votes that were cast at Tozer St over the past five days. Results from outlaying polling booths will be counted on site and phone in to Tozer St.
A hot and sultry day made for uncomfortable conditions at polling booths throughout the region today as we sweltered through 34 degree hit, which only eased with the storm about 4pm.
Speaking to some of the candidates at the central polling booth at the Senior Citizens Centre this afternoon, some candidates were feeling optimistic and other not so.
Some planned to stay up and watch the votes come in through the night but others were intending going home and going to bed after a long, hot day handing out how to vote cards.
Division 4 candidate Dr Daryl Dodt was full of beans still at 3.30pm despite the oppressive humidity, and happy to entertain the voters with his guitar and catchy songs about his home town; something about Two Heads is Better Than One.
THERE are three mayoral candidates and 27 councillor candidates contesting eight Gympie Regional Council divisions. They are as follows:
| Mayor || |
| Division 1 || |
| Division 2 || |
| Division 3 || |
| Division 4 || |
| Division 5 || |
| Division 7 || |
His mum, former Gympie Mayor Joan Dodt, was there to support him.
The parents of of Division 8 young gun candidate James Cochrane, John and Margaret Cochrane, were also on duty at the Senior Citizens Centre and proud of their son, not matter the outcome of today's poll.
"No matter was the result is, he has learnt a great deal," dad John said.
Hydrotherapy campaigner Reg Lawler was also on duty, handing out the group's how to vote cards and looking fresh despite the heat and humidity.