Rockingham council counts several firsts as dust settles after election

THREE new councillors have been elected to the City of Rockingham council at once for the first time since 1997.

A record 22 candidates competed for the six vacancies, with more than 24,500 votes submitted.

Returning councillor Joy Stewart with 2560 votes and new councillor Kelly McManus with 2811 votes, out of 8581 valid votes, filled the two vacancies for Rockingham ward.

Councillor Leigh Liley was returned to serve a fifth term in Safety Bay ward, collecting 2420 votes, and Katherine Summers was elected with 2560 votes, out of 9075 valid votes.

Lee Downham filled the single vacancy for Baldivis ward with 784 votes out of 3027 valid votes, and Chris Elliott was returned in Comet Bay ward with 1412 votes, less than 100 ahead of Julie-Ann Moyle.

Ron Pease lost his position in Safety Bay ward, receiving the second fewest votes from the five candidates in the ward.

The election of two new female councillors created an even split of five male and female councillors, the only time in the City’s history that it has had even representation between genders.

“I feel it is an advantage to have both genders represented on council, and an even five and five split shows women (in the community) that they are represented at a leadership level,” Cr Deb Hamblin said at Monday’s special council meeting.

In Kwinana, three of the four incumbent councillors were returned: Peter Feasey received 2199 votes, Dennis Wood 1561 votes and Wendy Cooper 1505 votes.

New councillor Sheila Mills received 1389 votes, just ahead of Asti Jorgensen with 1378, Robert Brown with 1372 and the unseated Sherilyn Wood with 1360 votes.

A total 18,732 votes were received in Kwinana.