Mayor wins at a canter, two fresh faces on council

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Dennis Wellington is campaigning on his proven track record as he looks to secure a third term as the City of Albany’s mayor.
Camera IconDennis Wellington is campaigning on his proven track record as he looks to secure a third term as the City of Albany’s mayor. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Dennis Wellington has romped into a third term as City of Albany Mayor, winning 71.87 per cent of the vote as the City welcomed two fresh faces to council.

Mr Wellington will now become the City’s longest-serving Mayor after seeing off a challenge from Cheryl Kneebone, who finished Saturday night’s count with 2557 votes to Mr Wellington’s 6534.

“I’m very proud of what this council has been able to achieve for Albany and honoured that the electorate has confidence in the direction of council,” Mr Wellington said.

“There is plenty we can still achieve and we’ll be working hard to continue to drive Albany towards more renewable energy options, planning for our bicentenary in 2026, and promote and attract investment in our community through development and tourism growth.”

In Kalgan ward, Bill Hollingworth (34.74 per cent) was ousted in favour of former Upper House MP Matt Benson-Lidholm (37.99 per cent).

It was the second time Cr Benson-Lidholm had run for council after an earlier tilt at Vancouver Ward. The former Mr Barker high school teacher said one of his core missions would be to help the outer communities remain strong.

“I’m finding that in this day and age more and more people are looking to flock to city areas, and with that in mind the capacity to hold together communities like theWellsteads, Napiers and South Stirlings is being diminished,” he said.

“I suppose in a nutshell I’m about improving people’s lifestyles and life chances.”

In Yakamia, newly elected councillor Chris Thomson (32.64 per cent) enjoyed a comfortable win over the outgoing Anthony Moir (16.25 per cent).

Cr Thomson is a former journalist with experience in the public service

“I’ve been to almost as many council meetings as I’ve had cut lunches all over the State and particularly here in Albany so just in terms of procedure, focus on the details of documents, I think I’ve got something to bring,” he said.

One of the planks of Cr Thomson’s campaign was councillor pay.

He said he would stick to his guns and push for a four-year moratorium on councillor allowances.

Paul Terry was returned in Breaksea with 51.49 per cent, Greg Stocks won 57.45 per cent of the vote to retain his seat in Frederickstown Ward, John Shanhun held Vancouver with 38.64 per cent, and Sandie Smith will continue as a councillor for West Ward after gaining 46.04 per cent of the vote.

Frederickstown had the highest voter turnout at 38.75 per cent, while West Ward was at the bottom of the list with 31.82 per cent.

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