Livingstone picks its new council
LIVINGSTONE mayoral and councillor candidates were yesterday scattered across the shire drumming up last minute support as the election day for the soon-to-be split shire wound up.
About 22,000 voters yesterday decided the mayor and six councillors who will lead the Livingstone Shire Council through de-amalgamation.
There are three mayoral candidates - Kay Becker, Brian Fisher and Bill Ludwig.
There are 27 councillor candidates. Click the "Your guide to Livingstone" link for more information on all candidates.
Sunday 10.30am: The counting has gone into its second day, with the mayoral and councillor votes still being tallied.
Kay Becker and Cr Bill Ludwig had a tense night yesterday with the tally neck and neck.
But Cr Ludwig is now in the lead with 85% of the votes tallied.
He has 7967 votes and is ahead of Ms Becker by 548 votes.
The councillor candidates in the lead are Cr Glenda Mather, Cr Tom Wyatt, Graham Scott, Jan Kelly, Nigel Hutton and Hannah Colley.
Saturday 10.10pm: Cr Bill Ludwig has taken the lead from Kay Becker with 149 more votes and 75% of the votes counted.
Cr Ludwig has 6921 votes and Ms Becker has 6772.
Brian Fisher has 20% of the votes.
10pm: Amanda McCasker has now dropped down out of the top six councillors as more votes are counted.
The leading six candidates are Cr Glenda Mather, Cr Tom Wyatt, Graham Scott, Jan Kelly, Nigel Hutton and Hannah Colley.
They are closely followed by Adam Belot and Amanda McCasker.
9.50pm: Former councillor Brett Svendsen has dropped out of the sixth spot as more votes for the Livingstone councillors are counted.
Just over 10% of the votes have been counted.
Cr Glenda Mather is still in the lead, followed by Cr Tom Wyatt, Graham Scott, Jan Kelly, Amanda McCasker and Hannah Colley.
Ms Colley says she is eagerly refreshing the Electoral Commission Queensland website as the tally is uploaded.
The 21-year-old council officer says people were positive at the polling booths today.
9.30pm: Kay Becker says she recently received a call from Local Government Minister David Crisafulli.
But Ms Becker says the election is still too close to call.
Cr Bill Ludwig says the Yeppoon pre-poll votes are looking very good for him.
9.15pm: There is only a 2% difference between the two people leading the mayoral race with 67% of votes counted.
Kay Becker is on 41% with 6272 votes and Cr Bill Ludwig is on 39% with 5921 votes.
Brian Fisher is on 19% with 2973 votes.
8.30pm: Kay Becker's lead has shortened slightly as 54% of the votes are counted.
She is on 43%, Cr Bill Ludwig is on 36%, and Brian Fisher is on 20%.
The same six councillor candidates are still leading with 4.3% of the votes now counted - Cr Glenda Mather, Cr Tom Wyatt, Jan Kelly, Amanda McCasker, Graham Scott and Brett Svendsen.
8pm: Only 3.28% of the vote for the six councillors has been counted, but Cr Glenda Mather has already taken the lead.
All 27 candidates have received votes.
But Cr Mather, Cr Tom Wyatt, Jan Kelly, Amanda McCasker, Graham Scott and Brett Svendsen are leading the pack.
7.40pm: Almost half of the roll has been counted.
Kay Becker is leading the race for mayor with 4957 votes or 44% of the vote.
Cr Bill Ludwig has received 3882 votes and has 34% of the vote.
Brian Fisher has received 2257 votes and has 20% of the vote.
7.30pm: There have been reports of Cr Bill Ludwig panicking while he waits for the pre-poll votes to be counted.
But Cr Ludwig isn't giving up to Kay Becker, saying the election is too tight to call yet.
7.20pm: The race for mayor has come down to pre-poll votes.
Kay Becker has told The Morning Bulletin she has won the polling booths of Keppel Sands, Emu Park, Cawarral, Lakes Creek, Marlborough, Milman, Parkhurst and The Caves.
Ms Becker says Cr Bill Ludwig has won the polling booths at Yeppoon, Yeppoon North, Byfield, Taranganba and Farnborough.
"It's a good lead, but it's not over until the fat lady sings," she said.
Ms Becker said Brian Fisher had not won any booths.
Mr Fisher has not returned The Morning Bulletin's phone calls.
7:05pm: The Morning Bulletin understands that Brian Fisher has been popular at Glenlee, while Kay Becker has been a favourite in Marlborough.
But would-be councillor Paul Lancaster, who assisted Cr Bill Ludwig in the push for de-amalgamation, says they always knew that was enemy territory for Cr Ludwig.
But Mr Lancaster says Cr Ludwig has done well at the Taranganba State School polling booth and he has won a couple of booths already.
"He's not doing so well with Kay Becker, but it's alright," Mr Lancaster says.
"It will come down to the pre-poll votes. (I think) sixty percent-plus (of the pre-poll votes) were for Bill."
6:50pm: One of the favourites for councillor, Rockhampton Regional Councillor Glenda Mather, is at Farnborough State School polling booth.
She says they are recounting the mayoral votes as five are missing.
The tally at the polling booth currently stands at 388 for Cr Bill Ludwig, 220 for Kay Becker, and 150 for Brian Fisher.
Cr Mather says the votes show Ms Becker is still in with a strong chance for mayor.
"(Farnborough) is Bill's stronghold," Cr Mather says.
"Kay will make up those votes in the rural areas."
6.35pm: Councillor candidate Paul Mills has forsaken an opportunity to stay as scrutineer, choosing to head home to have fish and chips with his children.
"It's been a big couple of weeks," he says.
"I'm quietly confident (about my chances)."
Mr Mills believes Cr Bill Ludwig and Brian Fisher are in with the best chance to take over the mayoralty, but said he would be happy to work with any of the mayors.
6.30pm: The Morning Bulletin has been told Cr Bill Ludwig appears to be leading the mayoral vote tally at Emu Park State School.
He is being closely followed by Kay Becker, then Brian Fisher.
Councillors Glenda Mather and Tom Wyatt are also getting a high number of votes.
6.15pm: Derm Stower has been honest about his feelings as the polls have closed.
"I'm buggered," he says.
The councillor candidate says he's going to spend the night enjoying Chinese and a glass of wine.
Mr Stower is not so sure about his chances though, saying he should have campaigned more.
"I'm always the pessimist," he says.
Mr Stower said he wasn't entirely sure about who would be elected mayor, but believes Cr Ludwig is in with the best chance.
6pm: The polls for the Livingstone election have closed.
5.30pm: Councillor candidate Mark White says whatever the outcome is, there has been a positive vibe from all Livingstone voters today.
Something he says is a good thing for the soon-to-be de-amalgamated shire.
But that doesn't mean he's ruled himself out of the race.
"People have been reasonably positive to me," Mr White says.
"Other times I've heard people saying disparaging things.
"I don't think I'll get up in the top votes, but I think I'm in with a reasonable chance."
He said he and fellow would-be councillor Steve McKenna are currently at the St Brendan's College polling booth.
Mr White's prediction for Livingstone's councillors are Cr Glenda Mather, Paul Lancaster and Tim Shepherd.
He is not sure who else will be elected.
"I think Glenda's in, I don't think there's really any doubt about that," Mr White says.
"She's got a fairly loyal following and she works hard for people."
As for mayor, Mr White says it's anyone's guess.
"But people have been talking and it sounds like Kay's got a shot," he says.
3.45pm: Rohan Watt, who is handing out how to vote cards for would-be councillor Graham Scott, says 1100 voters had gone through the Yeppoon State High School polling booth.
He said there had been a very positive atmosphere among all voters and candidates.
3.15pm: Kay Becker says it's clear there's a change in the wind, intimating mayoral favourite Cr Bill Ludwig shouldn't expect so many votes.
"There were 8000 pre-poll votes already," she says.
"The old-timer's say a high pre-poll shows a time for change.
"Bill's saying he's got 70% of the votes. But no one can say that. I honestly cannot pick it from any of the voters' body language."
Ms Becker says she's been told the mayor should be announced by 9pm as the mayoral votes will be counted first.
But she says the high number of pre-poll votes mean a trend for the councillors will also most likely emerge early on.
The former RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service CEO voted at Taranganba State School.
"I did it when I was there, because I was worried I'd forget," Ms Becker joked.
3pm: Kay Becker's mother Marion has driven to the Yeppoon State High School from her home in Wowan to man the polling booth for the mayoral candidate.
The proud mother has got faith in her daughter.
"I'd like to think there's a good chance," Marion says.
She and Warren Buttenshaw, who is handing out how to vote cards for mayoral candidate Cr Bill Ludwig, have struck up an unlikely friendship as they've stood in the blazing heat handing out cards together.
The pair agreed that there had been a very positive atmosphere.
Mr Buttenshaw says he was a staunch Cr Bill Ludwig supporter because of Cr Ludwig's determination to bring about a de-amalgamation vote.
"He fought for five years so that normal people like me can have a vote," Mr Buttenshaw says.
"I think when all this is over people are going to realize all that he has done."
Saturday 2:30pm: Rockhampton Regional councillor Tom Wyatt is hoping to be voted in again, this time to the new Livingstone.
He was at the Emu Park State School polling booth when he said his chances are 50/50.
"It's really too close to call," Cr Wyatt says.
He says he had been counting down the days until the election and couldn't wait for it to be over.
Cr Wyatt says even if elected, it would be a quiet night at his house tonight.
"I'm looking forward to a good sleep tonight," he says.
Cr Wyatt's children are helping by handing out Cr Wyatt's how to vote cards.
But, Cr Wyatt says there weren't many people taking the cards.
"The majority of people know how they're going to vote," he says.