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Liberals have strong position on Hawkesbury Council with final line-up announced

Dec 21, 2021


We now know who will make up the 12-member Hawkesbury Council, with final figures and positions announced this morning by the Electoral Commission.


Overall there was a sizeable swing to the Liberals of 6.2% compared to the last local council election five and a bit years ago. They took 34.6% of the vote compared to 28% last time around – some 12,869 primary votes.


That has seen them take 4 seats and the return of Sarah Richards and Patrick Conolly, with the other 2 newcomers.


Cllr Richards though has been announced just this last week as the Federal Liberal candidate for Macquarie, so if she wins that marginal seat from Labor’s Susan Templeman sometime before May – that election date has not been called yet – she will leave Council. We’re told the decision to endorse her as Federal candidate was made 5 months ago by the Liberal Party but kept quiet while she fought this council election.


Cllr Richards received 847 personal votes after preferences and the highest personal vote of the election, followed by independent Nathan Zamprogno who received 616 personal votes.


Ex-Mayor Patrick Conolly is also back and sources tell us he is once again eyeing the Mayor’s position. It will be interesting to see how that works out in this new Council. A vote will be held in the Council chamber on January 11 for that role.


The new Liberal councillors are newcomer Paul Veigel and Jill Reardon. Cllr Reardon has sat on Council before around a decade ago.


Other councillors who are back are ex-Deputy Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett who led the People Not Parties group. Their primary vote was 9.8%.


Newly minted independent Nathan Zamprogno who was booted off the ticket by the local Liberals is back and with a very strong vote of 2530 group primary votes, a total of 3357 when preferences were taken into account. He is still a member of the Liberal Party but has vowed to vote on each issue in the new Council independently.


Greens councillor Danielle Wheeler is returned with 275 personal votes, with The Greens group taking 7.1% of the primary vote.


Another newcomer – or perhaps best referred to as a returnee – is Les Sheather who sat on Council for more than 2 decades. He ran a very professional social media campaign – amazing for a man who 8 months ago admitted he didn’t have a Facebook page or know how it worked – alongside main running mate, ex-councillor and Liberal Party member Dr Warwick Mackay, who was not elected. Cllr Sheather has stood for One Nation in the past and politically sits on the right of the chamber.


Cllr Sheather’s group picked up 7.4% of the vote and he personally received 280 votes after preferences and his group had 2916 total votes.


Labor veteran Barry Calvert is returned, though Labor suffered a 4.4% swing against. The second Labor councillor, Amanda Kotlash, squeaked in to last position.


A newcomer with a strong performance at the ballot box – at 2637 of primary votes, and 2821 in total including preferences, his group polled slightly more than The Greens total (2795) – is Shane Djuric of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the first time this party has had a seat on Hawkesbury Council.


And Eddie Dogramaci, leader of the Small Business Party has also got in. He’s stood for several public offices over the years and at last the Pitt Town resident and businessman has been successful.


The 13th on the list is Liberal Matthew Bennett. Should Cllr Richards vacate Council, it is likely – if the chamber votes for it – that he would effectively take her slot as the 12th councillor.


Those not re-elected are the Alliance’s Pete Reynolds and Emma-Jane Garrow who was in the third slot on the People Not Parties sheet, as well as independent John Ross who was the only candidate to stand alone, and not part of a group.


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