Greens dominate Byron vote
Four of the five Green candidates were elected into council including Simon Richardson, Tom Tabart, Richard Staples and recently elected mayor Jan Barham.
Ross Tucker, who missed out on the mayoral role, managed to maintain his votes for a councillor spot. Two other candidates in his independent group, Tony Heeson and Diane Woods, were also elected.
Patrick Morrisey from Group B and Cameron Basil from Group C made up the eight elected councillors.
Mr Staples, who has been on the Byron Shire Council since 1995, was happy when he learnt the Green Party had proved most popular.
“I'm stoked. It's going to be a great council with three experienced councillors from the Greens and both Patrick and Cameron as strong allies,” Mr Staples said.
Mr Staples said the Green members would have strong dialogue with the other councillors.
“Our values are only part of the picture, but we have established our footing and the community has spoken in our favour,” Mr Staples said.
“It was an anxious wait but I think the party's track record has got us through.”
Mr Staples said his main focus would continue to be water and waste management policies where he would be working closely with Rous Water.
Ross Tucker said he had been confident leading up to the results, but had been unaware of how well his other party members would go.
“It was very pleasing to see Tony and Diane elected as this will enable us to have a stronger voice within council,” Mr Tucker said.
Mr Tucker said the council would be divided because the Green Party and his own party shared such different values and priorities.
“Our aims, such as building more necessary infrastructure, are very different to the Green Party's and therefore it will be a challenge to be heard,” Mr Tucker said.
Mr Tucker said the results reflected the make-up of the Byron Shire and the diverse population.
“The voters have spoken and I have to accept in politics that even if you're in council you don't always get what you want,” Mr Tucker said.
It was not all sighs of relief yesterday with Jan Mangleson and the other four candidates in Group D missing out.
Ms Mangleson, who has been on council for nine years, said she was still happy with those elected.
“I've been doing this for a while so maybe it was time for other people to take up the work,” she said.