Green power -- Landslide sparks bid for mayor
THE Greens Party hopes to take the position of mayor after a green landslide in Saturday's Tweed Shire Council election.
The landslide in the first local election since council's 2005 sacking has given the Tweed a green-leaning council with the potential for a Greens Party mayor, possibly Katie Milne who scored an all-time record popular vote.
Ms Milne, who headed the Greens Party ticket and is well known for defeating plans for a marina at Chinderah, received more than 7200 first preference votes -- the highest number by any candidate ever in a Tweed council election.
That was the equivalent of 1.6 quotas needed for election with about 4400 votes required for a quota, according to ABC political analyst Antony Green.
The Greens Party is set to have at least two councillors in the new council, including second-placed candidate on its ticket, Kevin McCready, who is likely to be elected on preferences.
Former minority councillor Dot Holdom chalked up more than 6200 first preference votes -- another record high -- or about 1.4 quotas.
Former mayor Warren Polglase is back as a councillor with one quota.
The leader of the Liberal Party ticket Joan van Lieshout is certain to be elected on further counting with 0.95 per cent of a quota yesterday after 61 per cent of the vote had been counted.
Barry Longland has 0.8 per cent of a quota so far with Mrs Holdom recommending her voters preference him.
Ms Milne said she was pleased so many voters -- nearly 21 per cent -- had placed their faith in the Greens. She vowed a green-leaning council would make a quick start on three priorities -- fixing Kennedy Drive traffic problems, making Sexton Hill safer for motorists and "preparing for global warming with safety measures".
Ms Milne said she would "be honoured to serve as mayor" but would be seeking consensus from other councillors on who should take on the role.
"We will have a chat among ourselves and see who is the best man or woman for the job," she said.
Councillors are due to choose a mayor at their first meeting on September 30.
Mr McCready declared that the mayor's post should be filled by the Greens because of the party's strong performance.
"There would be an expectation one of those would be mayor," he said.
He said he would "be interested in being mayor".
Mr Polglase conceded he had no chance of returning to the top job.
"The conservative side of politics -- which could account for two or three councillors -- would be more inclined to support a man like Longland instead of the Greens for mayor," he said.
Mr Longland said he would talk to all successful candidates. "I may nominate for the position."