Leeton Shire Council by-election: Who will you vote for?

THE stage has been set for tomorrow's Leeton Shire Council by-election, with the seven nominees ready to face the public vote.

Alan Brink, Neil Boardman, Mick Lowrie, Amanda Prosser, Tony Reneker, Tracey Morris and Craig Holden will contest the by-election for the last councillor seat.

The position has been vacant since September when the local government election was held, but couldn't be filled after only eight nominated for council.

Those eight went straight through uncontested and a by-election was required to find the final councillor.

Council general manager John Batchelor was hoping for a good voter turnout.

"In previous years (the turn out) has been pretty good in the shire," he said.

"There's a good range of candidates.

"There is probably two reasons why people should make sure they vote. The first is to have a say in who the ninth councillor will be and the second is to ensure they don't get a fine for not voting."

Each of the candidates have put forward their main agendas and issues coming into the election, including growing business in the shire, tourism and health.

NSW Electoral Commission returning officer Margaret Todd said it was important to vote correctly.

"There's the option of just putting the '1' in the box next to your preferred candidate, but because there are seven candidates we aren't expecting one person to receive 50 per cent - plus one of the vote," she said.

"That means it is important to put down all of your preferences because it could well come down to that.

"People should think about their choices carefully ... there are a lot of people out there that aren't even aware the by-election is on, so we need everyone to vote correctly."

POLLING PLACES

VOTING in the by-election will begin at 8am tomorrow and will close at 6pm.

Polling booths will be open at:

Gralee School

Leeton Public School

Leeton Uniting Church

Parkview Public School

Murrami Community Hall

Wamoon Public School

Whitton Public School

Yanco Hall

FROM THE CANDIDATES

From the candidates (in ballot order)

Alan Brink

Platform: Business growth

"Once you have new businesses there are more jobs, more people and our community benefits in more ways than one," he said.

"I would like to see further development of light industry and, among all of that, more public service positions."

Neil Boardman

Platform: Improved health services in the shire

"I'd like to see council lobby for the hospital to have a complete refurbishment on the top-floor," he said.

"Basically I want to do what is best for the people of Leeton shire."

Mick Lowrie

Platform: Representation for the shire's villages and smaller towns

"I've lived in all the villages, Wamoon, Yanco and Whitton, and have fond memories of Murrami when my grandparents had a farm there in the early 20s," he said.

"I think a lot of the time the villages miss out on representation and I want to represent them, as well as the residents of Leeton."

Amanda Prosser

Platform: Child protection and water

"All children deserve our protection and the laws are not working," she said.

Miss Prosser believes well maintained and managed water is the key to Leeton's health, economy, farming and industry.

Tony Reneker

Platform: Tourism and business

"Another thing is establishing reasons for tourists to visit and stay in Leeton shire," he said.

"We also need to build existing businesses, establish new industry and encourage residents to shop locally."

Tracey Morris

Platform: Council projects and business

"One thing I would like to see is the new cultural arts precinct happen sooner rather than later," she said.

"I feel I've got the skills that can help to continue moving the shire forward."

Craig Holden

Platform: Business sustainability and recreation

"Increasing recreation activities, like skiing and fishing, building on business and employment and raising rural issues are the big ones I want to focus on," he said.

"We need to keep moving forward."

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