Probable mayor has a long list of priorities

RHONDA Hoban was having to rely on other candidates to find out about the progress of voting in Nambucca Shire yesterday.

Her dial-up internet connection had chosen a bad time to crash, as results of the local-government election were being updated on line.

The poll is expected to be declared in Nambucca Shire around lunchtime tomorrow, but with Councillor Hoban already holding 55 per cent of the vote counted on Saturday, her position as the new mayor of Nambucca looks unassailable.

Yesterday, Cr Hoban said she had been surprised but reassured by the number of primary votes she had received.

Listed first on the ballot paper as a first-time council candidate at the 2004 election, she said she had worried about how much she had benefited from the 'donkey vote' at that election but after her results as No.5 on the ballot on Saturday, she was more confident.

Cr Hoban said while she had no specific major projects in mind for the next four years, she wanted to see some changes in the way council approached the decision making process, with more open decisions made by the rules after healthy, respectful debate.

“Some huge challenges are coming our way, including water,” she said.

“Back in 2000 in the drought, we were down to 60 days supply of water.”

She said State Government proposals to take water and sewerage away from councils were a major threat to the financial viability of Nambucca Shire Council, which had won awards for the quality of its water and the cost-effectiveness of its schemes.

Cr Hoban listed affordable off-stream water storage; ensuring adequate compensation for the 22 Nambucca residents who were going to lose their homes to the new Pacific Highway and meeting the asset and infrastructure challenges of maintaining wooden bridges, unsealed roads and community buildings like local halls as among the other major challenges for her and her fellow councillors in the next four years.

“Now I've got to put my feet back on the ground and finish ironing school clothes,” she said.

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Election Results – NSW local govt elections 2008.

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