Outspoken Tamborine Mountain advocate Amanda Hay is the Scenic Rim Regional Council’s newest elected representative.
Independent candidate Ms Hay received 57.77 per cent of the official first preference count in the Division 1 by-election on 15 April and the vote did not go to preferences.
She replaces councillor Derek Swanborough, who resigned on 21 February.
Electoral Commission Queensland declared Ms Hay the winner on 17 April. Council acknowledged the outcome in a brief two sentence statement on its website.
Fellow Tamborine Mountain resident Nicole Thompson received 26.88 per cent of first preference votes followed by Tamborine’s Kerri Cryer with 9.31 per cent and Beaudesert’s Jennifer Sanders with 6.04 per cent.
Ms Hay was sworn in before Council’s 18 April Ordinary Meeting. She thanked her supporters and said she looked forward to representing the people of Division 1.
Amanda Hay reflects on by-election win.
In her Council Watch column, Ms Hay reflected on her by-election win.
“By now most would be aware that the SRRC Division 1 By-Election was conducted on 15 April 2023 and that I am the Councillor-elect, subject to ECQ formal announcement,” she wrote.
“Preferences did not come into play as I received an overwhelming 57% of first preferences, which gives me a clear mandate to pursue the platform items upon which I ran.
“Division 1 was fortunate to attract three high-calibre candidates, all of whom are women of integrity and ran for genuine reasons.
“The votes cast – a disappointing 73.98% of those enrolled, possibly due to Easter and school holidays – clearly indicate that Division 1 residents are not in favour of a Councillor affiliated with nor endorsed by a political party and that immediate, local policies and issues are at the forefront of their concerns. I share this opinion.
“It should come as no surprise that I already have an OIA complaint and have been “invited” to attend an interview under caution – with solicitor in tow – as a result of an email I sent to Councillors several months ago. Obviously some will stop at nothing to achieve their end game.
“SRRC Ordinary Meeting 18 April 2023 – How sad that Council felt the need to prioritise two items on the Agenda to elicit a vote before the new Division 1 Councillor takes the Oath of Office.
“In the case of the appointment of the Deputy Mayor (Item 10.3), this could have waited as there are five weeks before this needed to occur.
“The second item (10.4) relates to the Scenic Rim Nature-Based Tourism Strategy 2023-2032 – a highly contentious issue in Division 1 and the subject of a current court appeal, with more appeals to come. These appeal court costs are met from rates levied.
“Obviously the Division 1 Councillor would expect to have input given the Strategy covers the next 10 years.”