Early result expected in Noosa mayoralty race
NOOSA should know by 7.30pm tomorrow - if not sooner - who will be their new mayor to guide a new council until March 2016, according to returning officer Robin Boyd.
That will be either political newcomer Dr Patricia Petersen or former Noosa mayor Noel Playford.
However due to a the extraordinary number of pre-polling taking place - 7500 out of 35,550 eligible voters by Tuesday afternoon - no one will know the exact make up of the six councillors to serve alongside the mayor.
That result should be clear by Sunday night, unless there are really tight contests. Polling will open tomorrow at 8am and close right on the dot of 6pm and the count will be on in earnest by Mr Boyd and his Queensland Electoral Commission team in an election that will be first past the post.
Noosa has never had an election before without area divisions, where voters get to vote for all six councillors.
"The priority (count) will be the mayor," Mr Boyd told the Noosa News this week. The (vote counting) teams will be split - some will do the mayor, which will be an easy count and hopefully will know the winner by 7.30pm, if not before.
"The counting for the councillors, that's going to take a little bit of time, but I think there'll be an indication on the night (who's on track to win)."
He said all the councillor votes cast at the polls on Saturday would be counted on the night, but the pre-polling count was almost certainly going to be put on hold.
"We are not going to be counting, at this stage, councillor pre-poll votes on Saturday night," he said.
"The voting pattern here in the pre-polling, I think will be reflected in the (Saturday) booths. If someone has polled well in the booths, I'd anticipate they do well pre-polling."
He said pre-poll votes already are more than 19% of the enrolment.
"We don't know what the turnout is going to be - there's 35 and a half thousand on the roll. Council elections sometimes get down to the low 80% (voter turn out)," Mr Boyd said.
"There used to be a rule of thumb - what (pre-poll votes) you take in the first week is usually doubled in the second week.
"We took 5000 last week, if we have 15,000 (in pre-polls) you're looking at half the vote in pre-polls."
But he is expecting at least 10,000 pre-poll votes that will have been tallied on Sunday. He said all the votes counted on Saturday night would also be re-counted Sunday.
The best way to make your vote count is to mark a number 1 beside your mayoral candidate of first choice, and on the councillor election ballot, number your choices beside the names of your picks, 1 through to 6.
Boreen Point - Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club
Cooran - Cooran State School
Cooroy - Noosa District High School
Federal - Federal State School
Kin Kin - Kin Kin State School
Noosa Junction - Sunshine Beach State School
Noosaville - Noosa Baptist Church Hall
Noosaville East - Noosa Christian Outreach Centre Hall
Noosaville West - Noosaville State School
Peregian - Peregian Beach Community House
Pomona - Pomona Memorial School of Arts Hall
Tewantin - Tewantin State School
Tinbeerwah - Tinbeerwah Hall