Council turnout beats 2015

Tayler Neale and Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser

With two days left to vote in the City of Albany local government election, Albany residents have already exceeded the 2015 voter turnout.

The City has so far received 35.33 per cent of returned election packages, while voter turnout in 2015 was 34.16.

Vancouver Ward has received the highest percentage turnout, with 38.71 per cent of election packages returned.

In the Vancouver Ward, incumbent councillor Nicollete Mulcahy is contesting her seat against former MP Matt Benson-Lidholm and Albany Regional Volunteer Services manager Tracey Sleeman.

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Meanwhile, Frederickstown Ward has received the second-highest percentage turnout with 37.52 per cent of election packages returned.

Frederickstown Ward is the most contested seat, with six candidates including current councillor Carolyn Dowling.

Other candidates in the ward include Graeme McBeath, an Albany farmer who owns a small business in town and works as a public servant and community group participant; composer and conductor Peter Ratnik; and Albany Business Centre manager Vicki Brown.

Breaksea Ward has received the lowest percentage turnout with 32.49 per cent.

Ray Hammond is looking to retain his seat in the Breaksea Ward, with 30-year-old farmer Luke Pilkington and small business owner Tony Demarteau rounding out the candidates.

The WA Electoral Commission’s returning officer for Albany, Sally Thomas, encouraged residents to have a say.

“Local government is an important tier of government with direct influence on the community you live in, so make your vote count to have a say in who represents you in council,” Ms Thomas said. Election Day is this Saturday, with successful candidates to be elected for a four-year term expiring in 2021.

The Shire of Denmark’s voter turnout rate was nearly 50 per cent at the time of print.

Residents who have not voted can still send their ballot paper via post until Saturday or drop their election package at the City office.

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