Renee Cluff

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Neck-and-neck Cairns Council election result could be contested

A declaration could be made today for the closely contested division five Cairns electorate, however any result could still be challenged.

As the local government election count enters its 11th day, Amy Eden is leading incumbent Division 5 Councillor Richie Bates by four votes.

Just over half of the ballots have been counted.

At the same time, the validity of the election is under a cloud due to low voter turnout, while Richie Bates has told Tropic Now he may request a recount.

"That’s a possibility, we want to see how close it is, but we’ll consider all our options," he said.

"All I'm focused on now is a wait and see.

"It’s obviously very close and there’s a few things to consider in all of that.

"Let's just wait for that official declaration."

Both he and candidate Amy Eden have been told there could be a result this afternoon as postal votes are counted.

Ms Eden has told Tropic Now it's been a surreal experience waiting for the count during a worldwide pandemic.

"I’m trying to block it out to be honest," she said.

"I’m just focusing on things I can control - my health, my sanity, my children."

Division two and division eight ballots also remain close.

Rob Pyne is leading in division two, while Rhonda Coghlan is ahead in division eight.

Further south, in the Cassowary Coast region, the Mayoral position remains up for grabs with 256 votes separating Bryce McDonald and Mark Nolan.

Around 25% of votes are still to be counted.

North of Cairns, the Douglas Shire now has a new mayor, with an official declaration made this morning for Michael Kerr's win over Julia Leu.


These are the latest figures being reported by the Electoral Commission QLD.


Cairns Mayor
Bob Manning (67% of the vote)

Division 1
Brett Moller (66% of the vote)

Division 2
Pyne (52% of the vote, closely followed by Schilling with 47% with 72% of votes counted)

Division 3
Cathy Zeiger (85% of the vote)

Division 4
Terry James (Comfortable with 52% of the vote)

Division 5
Amy Eden (44.7%) leads Ricthie Bates (44.63%) by just 4 votes with 58% of the ballots counted. Too close to call.

Division 6
Kristy Vallely (61% of the vote)

Division 7
Max O'Halloran (Comfortable with 42% of the vote)

Division 8
Rhonda Coghlan (30%) remains in front of Ellen Weber (24.55%) by 439 votes with 67% of the ballots counted.

Divison 9
Brett Olds romping it in with 86.7% of the vote.



Douglas Mayor

Michael Kerr has ousted incumbent Mayor Julia Leu. 


These four candidates have the highest number of votes with 72% of ballots counted:

Scomazzon (16.41%)

McKeown (14.65%)

Zammataro (13.2%)

Noli (12.29)




Angela Toppin has 53% of the vote, while Edward (Nipper) Brown has 46.94% after 76.79% of the vote count.


These six candidates have the highest number of votes with 72% of ballots counted:

Graham (12.38%)

Bensted (12.19%)

Wyatt (11.89%)

Davies (11.65%)

Bird (8.99%)

Mlikota (8.87%)




Bryce McDonald is trailing Mark Nolan 36.69% to 38.47%  

Leading Councillor candidates

Division 1

Barnes (39.9%)

Division 2

Millwood (35.39%)

Division 3

Tschui (41.98%)

Division 4

Pervan (29.61%)

Division 5

Baines (39%)

Division 6

Farinelli (27.64%)