Majority of women take seats on new Forbes Shire Council

Returning officer Matthew Irvine at the distribution of preferences and declaration of the new Forbes Shire councillors.
Returning officer Matthew Irvine at the distribution of preferences and declaration of the new Forbes Shire councillors.

Five women and four men will take their seats around the Forbes Shire Council table.

They are:

  • Steve Karaitiana
  • Phyllis Miller
  • Jenny Webb
  • Aidan Clarke
  • Margaret Duggan
  • Chris Roylance
  • Brian Mattiske
  • Michele Herbert and
  • Maria Willis

Returning councillors Steve Karaitiana, Phyllis Miller and Jenny Webb were declared elected on first preference votes, receiving the necessary quota of 563 and the distribution of preferences then began.

New councillors Aidan Clarke and Marg Duggan along with returning councillor Chris Roylance were declared elected after Round 2 of the distribution of preferences.

Brian Mattiske, Michele Herbert and Maria Willis were declared elected after Round 10.

The Advocate understands the new councillors are to take their oath of office and elect the mayor and deputy mayor before Christmas, confirmation of that to come.

Two experienced councillors in Graeme Miller and Jeff Nicholson have not gained reelection. A former councillor in Tom Dwyer was the other to be excluded as the distribution of preferences progressed.

New candidate Emma Henderson - who had polled eighth of the 13 in first preference votes - was the last to be counted out in preference distribution.

The final tally of first preference votes, from the NSW Electoral Commission's virtual tally room, was:

  • Aidan Clarke 451
  • Margaret Duggan 456
  • Jeff Nicholson 142
  • Thomas Dwyer 160
  • Chris Roylance 267
  • Steve Karatiana 577
  • Phyllis Miller 2062
  • Brian Mattiske 176
  • Graeme Miller 164
  • Michele Herbert 142
  • Emma Henderson 190
  • Jenny Webb 569

The distribution of preferences is computerised and took mere minutes at the Parkes returning office from 10.45am on Tuesday.

But plenty has been happening behind the scenes since Forbes and district residents went to the polls on Saturday December 4.

There are 6975 enrolled voters in our shire and 5628 formal votes were received for our 13 candidates.

Since polling day, the data from the ballot papers has been entered into the computer system - manually and no less than three times to eradicate the chance of error.

Once a candidate has reached the quota the preferences from their excess votes are distributed to other candidates.

Once a candidate is excluded, their preferences are also distributed.