The Cooloola Coast has been revealed as the only Division within the region to prefer toppled mayor Mick Curran (right) over his replacement, Glen Hartwig.
The Cooloola Coast has been revealed as the only Division within the region to prefer toppled mayor Mick Curran (right) over his replacement, Glen Hartwig.

REVEALED: Tipping point in deck-clearing council election

WANT to find a corner of Gympie that did not want a new mayor?

The your best bet is to head to the beach, with the coastal division revealed as the lone one to support the re-election of Mick Curran.

Newly released Electoral Commission Queensland booth data from reveals Councillor Glen Hartwig was the beneficiary of a widespread push for change, with a significant chunk of support coming from the regions to the west and north.

MORE COUNCIL NEWS

* Council sticks neck out for subbies

* Gympie Council officially begins search for new CEO

Division 6 (everything west of Bells Bridge and Amamoor Creek) made the most noise, backing Mr Hartwig into the seat with more than 58 per cent of the first vote.

Seven of the region’s eight Divisions wanted a new mayor.
Seven of the region’s eight Divisions wanted a new mayor.

Division 2 (Goomboorian, Gunalda, Curra and Veteran) ran a close second with 56.3 per cent support, and more than half of Divisions 3 (Chatsworth, Gympie city and Gympie North) and 4 (Gympie City, Gympie High and Horseshoe Bend) made Mr Hartwig their top choice.

The Cooloola Coast was the only Division to call for Mr Curran's return.

Out there the former mayor claimed 45 per cent of the first vote, in contrast to only a third of coastal voters supporting Mr Hartwig.

Even this was not clear cut, though: where Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove were clearly favoured Mr Curran, at Rainbow Beach Mr Hartwig enjoyed a slim 2 per cent margin.

Voters were eager to send a message once the polls opened, too.

More than half of the 2016-20 council formed by Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald lost their seats.
More than half of the 2016-20 council formed by Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald lost their seats.

Of the almost half (45 per cent) of regional voters who prepolled, 52 per cent wanted Mr Hartwig in the top job.

Postal votes also favoured the new mayor; 49 per cent chose Mr Hartwig, 34 per cent Mr Curran.

At a councillor level, Jones Hill likely gave new councillor Warren Polley the victory over former deputy mayor Bob Leitch.

Almost 60 per cent of preference votes in the south Gympie suburb went to Mr Polley, who ultimately claimed the seat by 24 votes.

Councillor Warren Polley has Jones Hill to thank for tipping the tight vote in his favour.
Councillor Warren Polley has Jones Hill to thank for tipping the tight vote in his favour.

Back on the coast Jess Milne was the choice of the Rainbow Beach and Cooloola Cove communities, where Mark McDonald was favoured at Tin Can Bay, and among postal, telephone and absentee votes.

Ms Milne, who won the seat by a scant 15 votes, took home 58 per cent of Rainbow Beach's 249 preference votes.

Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon, who was returned by the highest margin after preferences, would have romped in even further if it was not for Goomeri, where Mikki Lawson was the preferred first choice at 46 per cent.

Ms Lawson did not clear more than 19 per cent support in any of the other Division 6 booths.

The coast was also one of two regions more preferable to a donkey vote to any of the mayoral candidates; it and the Mary Valley (Division 8) recorded an informal vote rate double the region's average.

Division 4 had the lowest number of invalid mayoral votes.

Gympie Times

Show societies across Flynn share in $340k

Premium Content Show societies across Flynn share in $340k

“Next year is looking so much brighter and I know this support will be fantastic...

CQ leads state’s road toll with 82 deaths

Premium Content CQ leads state’s road toll with 82 deaths

This year’s road toll for Central Queensland is a massive 41.4 per-cent up on 2019...

REVEALED: Which CQ courts have sent the most people to jail

Premium Content REVEALED: Which CQ courts have sent the most people to jail

New data shows where each court sits for numbers of imprisonments.