ELECTION: Mayoral candidate weighs in on results update
IT'S BEEN more than two weeks since the local government election and residents are still guessing who will be the next mayor and Division 6 councillor for the South Burnett Regional Council.
Businessman Brett Otto still maintains a small lead ahead of incumbent mayor Keith Campbell for the top spot.
Mayoral candidate and newcomer, Otto, currently sits at 39.75 per cent of votes, edging ahead of Campbell who has 36.61 per cent of votes.
There were still 17.63 per cent of mayor votes to be counted, but fellow candidates Abigail Andersson (15.06 per cent) and Toni Ralph (8.58 per cent) were far left behind in the race for the 2020 South Burnett mayor.
Mr Otto told the South Burnett Times that even though the Electoral Commission of Queensland hadn't made an official declaration, he felt confident he would secure the top seat.
"We are still awaiting the official declaration from the ECQ as to the mayoral appointment as well as the official re-count on Division 6," Mr Otto said.
"We are expecting such to be publicised at some time prior to Thursday of this week. "However, former Mayor Campbell was gracious in calling me last Tuesday morning to concede.
"I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution Keith has made to our region during his time in council over the past 21 years.
"I am hopeful that once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted we can organise a community function to recognise Keith's service to our community.
"I would also like to wish Keith, Marion and family all the best as they embrace the next chapter of their lives. They will always be very welcome at council."
Mr Otto said he wanted to assure residents throughout the region that the council's CEO Mark Pitt and his staff were well prepared to get the new council up and running later this week, once the final declarations were made by the ECQ.
"I look forward to working with our new team of councillors to improve the lives of all residents across our wonderful region," he said.
Incumbent mayor Keith Campbell was contacted for comment, but is yet to respond.
At the end of the vote count for Division 6, there were only four votes between the two candidates.
First-time candidate Scott 'Hook' Henschen claimed the victory and Division 6 title with 1522 votes, ahead of incumbent councillor Ros Heit who had 1516 votes.
The ECQ expected to announce the winners for both positions over the next couple of days.
The next South Burnett Regional Council meeting will be held on Friday 17, where the mayor and councillors will be sworn in at a special ceremony.