THE biggest field for almost 20 years will contest Wodonga’s council election with 24 candidates to face voters.
Not since 1997, when the Wodonga Rural City Council formed via the Kennett Government’s merger process has there been a larger group of runners.
That contest drew 25 hopefuls, while the last election in 2012 saw 13 vie to be one of seven councillors after 20 put themselves forward in 2008.
Mayor Anna Speedie welcomed the big field, suggesting it reflected the interested created by the departures of incumbents Eric Kerr, Mark Byatt, Rodney Wangman and Lisa Mahood.
“It’s great seeing people step forward, it’s a really brave thing for anybody to do, so everybody should be congratulated for putting their hand up,” Cr Speedie said.
“When you’ve got four vacant positions I think it tends to bring more people out as well because there’s vacancies.
“And what a wide spectrum across the whole community that have stepped forward.
“I think we should end up with a really good representation of our community around the table.”
Asked whether the large field was a sign of dissatisfaction with the council, Cr Speedie did not answer directly instead suggesting a big squad was usual.
“I’ve seen at least 15 or 20 run every time I’ve ever put me hand up, so this isn’t out of the ordinary,” she said.
“I think it’s actually normal.”
At the ballot draw on Tuesday, retailer Danny Lowe scored the No.1 slot on the voting papers which will be posted from October 4 to 6.
“I’m going out to buy a lotto ticket,” Mr Lowe said in response to securing the prime slot for donkey votes.
“I’m extremely happy, if I was going to pick a spot I would rather be first or last, knowing how some people vote.”
The candidates in ballot order are:
- Danny Lowe
- Geoffrey Butt
- Ant Packer
- Ben Clifton
- Galvin Dunlop
- Veronique Janel
- David Johnston
- Peter Smith
- Brian Mitchell
- Lubosh Hanuska
- Michael Fraser
- Libby Hall
- Adam Koster
- Ron Mildren
- Alison Reed
- Trevor White
- John Watson
- Ray Snell
- Kat Bennett
- Christopher Rogers
- Dawn George
- Tim Quilty
- Anna Speedie
- Richard Shannon