Bill Ludwig looks set to be the mayor of Livingstone Shire
IT was "a close run thing" but Bill Ludwig looks set to be the mayor of the new Livingstone Shire Council.
Mr Ludwig led the count by 551 votes yesterday, with 600 postal votes still outstanding.
The Rockhampton regional councillor had 7977 votes, his nearest challenger Kay Becker had 7426 and Brian Fisher had 3891.
Mr Ludwig said he was not prepared to claim victory, instead leaving the official declaration to the electoral commission.
But he believes that declaration could some as soon as today.
"This is an historic day for our community and the culmination of what was a challenging but exciting journey to reclaim our independence," he said.
"While I intend to wait for ECQ to formally declare the poll, it is likely that I will be afforded the honour and privilege to again lead our community.
"On the balance of probabilities, it is highly unlikely there will be any other result."
Cr Ludwig was mayor of Livingstone Shire from 2000 to 2008. He said yesterday he wanted to acknowledge those people who had voted "yes" for de-amalgamation in March 2013 and had voted again at the weekend to elect their first new independent council.
His commitment was to lead an inclusive and responsive council that was focused on building a positive future for the whole shire.
"We have some excellent new councillors with a dynamic range of skill sets to bring new, fresh ideas to the new council table."
Mr Ludwig said the outlook for Livingstone and the region was bright.
"We have healthy above average growth and great untapped potential to attract new industry and build on our existing tourism industry and the major tourist developments that are already in the pipeline," he said.