Kinnish helped by voter backlash

WHILE front-runner Col Sullivan still wasn't prepared to declare victory in the mayoral race for Richmond Valley Council yesterday, there was a clear winner from voting booths in the shire's lower river area.

As of yesterday afternoon, Donella Kinnish had received a total of 1711 votes from polling booths at Coraki, Evans Head, Rappville and Woodburn, a number which surpassed the total gained by all three rival mayoral candidates at the same booths.

“The lower river towns have clearly expressed that they haven't been listened to,” Mrs Kinnish said.

Mrs Kinnish said the result was more than simply a backlash to the outgoing Richmond Valley Council's introduction of the unified rating system, which increased the rates of most Evans Head residents and businesses.

A difference in the quality of roads and public amenities between Casino and lower river towns was testament to the long-term problem of inequality of resources between the areas, she said.

However, Richmond Valley mayor for the past eight years Charlie Cox said the council had worked hard in order to ensure that resources and funds were dispersed equally across the shire.

“The election is over, and anyone raising issues like this is just being divisive and negative,” he said

Mr Sullivan said yesterday he was aware there was a clear division between the areas within the shire and that if elected mayor he would regard reuniting the areas as a ' high priority'.



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