South Australian council elections see wave of women take control


November 11, 2018 09:14:35

A wave of women have take control during South Australia’s council elections, including at Adelaide City Council, where Sandy Verschoor has been elected as Lord Mayor.

She received 3,596 first-preference votes to defeat lawyer Mark Hamilton on 2,330.

The state’s four largest councils — Onkaparinga, Salisbury, Port Adelaide Enfield and Charles Sturt — also look set to be led by female mayors.

The two largest cities outside of Adelaide — Mt Gambier and Whyalla — also have female mayors.

Mitcham, Burnside, Holdfast Bay, Victor Harbor, Robe and Kingston also elected women.

Outgoing Adelaide lord mayor Martin Haese announced in September he would not seek re-election for “personal reasons”.

He said he supported Councillor Verschoor but stopped short of endorsing her.

She has been an area councillor since 2015 and deputy mayor since 2017.

Adelaide has had two female lord mayors — Wendy Chapman from 1983 to 1985 and Jane Lomax-Smith from 1997 to 2000.

Mr Hamilton is a partner in a commercial law firm, and was a councillor from 1982 to 1993 and 2010 to 2014, when he ran for mayor unsuccessfully.

The other two candidates were bookshop owner Kate Treloar and dance studio owner Steven Kelly.

Actor and disability advocate Quentin Kenihan appeared at the top of the Adelaide City Council ballot for area councillor despite dying last month.

No record was kept of how many people voted for Kenihan, with his votes automatically allocated to whoever the voter put as their second preference.

Voting in council elections is voluntary in South Australia.

State-wide, 395,000 ballots were returned — a turnout of 32.6 per cent, up from 31.99 per cent in 2014.

The highest turnout was in the Eyre Peninsula town of Kimba — at 81 per cent — while in Adelaide it was Mitcham at 38 per cent.









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