Casual vacancy by-election

Photo by Paul Harris

A countback by-election will be conducted on May 17 to fill the empty seat on Edward River Council, following the death of Councillor Peter Connell.

A letter from electoral commissioner John Schmidt last week officially notified the local returning officer of the decision.

“I hereby give notice to the substitute returning officer appointed for the last election that a casual vacancy occurred on the council due to the death of Councillor Peter James Paton Connell on April 2, 2022,” the letter reads.

The first step will be to go back to the votes from the December 4 election, to fill the vacancy, concentrating on preferences.

The unsuccessful candidates at the December 4 council election were artist and mental health and disability advocate Narelle Whitham, and local business owner Shannon Sampson.

If both candidates are interested, they must formally submit this to the returning officer within 10 days of the application period.

The countback is conducted within 49 days of the date the casual vacancy occurred.

All votes cast in the election will be counter, however votes for Cr Connell will be placed with the next-highest preference until a candidate is elected.