Renee Cluff

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Amy Eden ousts Richie Bates for a spot on Cairns Regional Council


Social worker Amy Eden has toppled incumbent division five Councillor Richie Bates in the tightest race in the Cairns Local Government election.

While the declaration of the result is yet to be officially made by the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ), Mr Bates has conceded defeat following a recount of votes yesterday.

“While I am no longer the Division 5 representative, I look forward to staying in touch with you all and remaining active in local issues,” he told voters.

“My sincere thanks to friends and community members for your support during the recent campaign and past two terms of Council.”

The ECQ's latest data still has Amy Eden just four votes in front, but Tropic Now understands it doesn't include postal vote results, which have been revealed to the candidates.

Ms Eden has told Tropic Now she’s thrilled to represent division 5.

“It’s exciting, I’m so happy,” she said.

“It was always going to be difficult against the incumbent.

“My biggest thing is I didn’t do it alone, it was a real collective effort which was so nice.

“People I didn’t even know were sharing my posts and going out of their way to volunteer.

“The community was obviously ready for change and I’ve had really lovely messages from community members who’ve reached out.”

Apart from preparing for tomorrow’s swearing-in ceremony, Ms Eden has another more personal task to attend to, having promised her children a new couch if she was elected.

“I have an idea of what I want but I haven’t looked yet,” she said.

“I’ve been too busy writing my speech.”

The concession from Mr Bates comes 18 days after ballot day.

Here is the final list for Cairns Regional Council:


Cairns Mayor

Bob Manning - Cairns Unity

Division 1
Brett Moller - Cairns Unity

Division 2
Rob Pyne - Independent

Division 3
Cathy Zeiger - Independent

Division 4
Terry James - Cairns Unity

Division 5
Amy Eden (still not officially declared) - Cairns Unity

Division 6
Kristy Vallely - Cairns Unity

Division 7
Max O'Halloran (still not declared, but comfortable) - Cairns Unity

Division 8
Rhonda Coghlan (still not declared, but comfortable) - Cairns Unity

Divison 9
Brett Olds - Independent