Countback to fill council vacancy

By Deanne Jeffers

THE VACANCY within Greater Shepparton City Council left by former mayor Kim O’Keeffe’s resignation will be filled via a countback on Monday, January 16.

Ms O’Keeffe stepped back as mayor, a role she held for four years, after announcing she would run for the state seat of Shepparton last year.

She won the seat ahead of sitting member Suzanna Sheed and Liberal candidate Cheryl Hammer.

The vacancy will be filled through a countback of all votes cast in the last general election in October 2020, instead of holding a by-election.

POSITION TO BE FILLED… A countback will be held on Monday, January 16, counting all the formal votes cast in the 2020 general election, in order to fill a vacancy within Council that was left when former mayor, Kim O’Keeffe resigned to pursue state politics. Photo: The Adviser

Votes will be redistributed to candidates who were not successful at that general election, and who remain eligible to participate in the countback.

It is the second countback during this term, with former councillor and deputy mayor Rob Priestly stepping down after he was unsuccessful at the federal election in May.

Mr Priestly had planned to return to council but said he had developed too many conflicts of interest during his election campaign as an independent candidate.

His vacancy was filled by countback in July, with former mayor Dinny Adem selected under the process.

The countback will be streamed online, and a link will be made available on the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) website from 9.30am on Monday, for a 10am countback.

The successful candidate must complete and return a written declaration stating that they are still eligible to be a councillor. If the candidate does not return the declaration within 48 hours, another countback will be held.