ONE of the surprises in the Tamworth Regional Council election is that it’s looking likely first-time candidate Mark Rodda will make the quota of 3153 votes and be elected.
Mr Rodda, who is having his first tilt at local government and is sitting fifth on the vote count (as of 11am yesterday), said he was “pleased” .
“The mayor and deputy mayor congratulated me – they think I’m home and safe,” he said.
“They said maybe I might slip to sixth after preferences but not much more.
“For a fair bit of the vote last night (Saturday) ... I was actually third for a while until Warren Woodley and James Treloar’s votes came in ...
“The scrutineers at the postal voting – they said I was doing OK and that my vote will just continue on its merry way.”
Mr Rodda, who stood for National Party preselection for the state seat of Tamworth in 2010 but lost to Kevin Anderson, said, at 44, it was “now or never” for his chance to dive into local government.
In the lead-up to Saturday’s election, he said he had a “good feeling that voters were receptive and they wanted some change and, hopefully, I can deliver”.
He said it was important for councils to get back to basics and deliver things such as roadworks, bridges and footpaths.
He is also a keen supporter of retaining the King George V Ave oak trees.
Mr Rodda said many people had offered support to him in the lead-up to the election – something he’s grateful for.
He said he did his best to get the message out “to the smaller centres” such as Manilla, Attunga and Kootingal.
He thanked his supporters.
“I really appreciate the opportunity they’ve provided me, to do some good for them in council,” Mr Rodda said.
Yesterday, he described where he was getting support from as “really interesting – it’s certainly not coming from Barraba”.
He was “not endorsed by The Nationals (for this election) and I wouldn’t want to have been endorsed by The
He said party politics had ruined the larger local government areas such as Newcastle, Sydney City and Wollongong, which were “plagued by party
“The people of Tamworth do not want party politics because it’s not going to give us the outcomes we want,” he said.
Mr Rodda’s count of 2063 votes (as at 2.10pm yesterday is snapping at the heels of the vote for former mayor and current councillor James Treloar.
Cr Warren Woodley’s first-preference vote count of 2479 – or 7.86 per cent of the overall count – is also a big show of support for our oldest councillor.
Cr Woodley, 74, said he was “extremely happy” with the result.
“I’ve got to say I was a bit spellbound last night (Saturday night) when I was watching the results,” he said.
First elected to the then Tamworth City Council in the mid-1960s and serving a three-year term before leaving council in 1968, Cr Woodley focused on his family and business before being elected to Tamworth City Council again in 1980.
Council terms were three years until amalgamation in 2006, when they became four years.
“I’ve spent about half my life in council,” Cr Woodley said.
“It’s a long time but it’s like some golfers who play golf every week because they love it.”
He said he loved mixing with the public and doing things that were “important for the city”.
At his age, he said people could still contribute.
“That’s good encouragement for a lot of people in their 70s,” Cr Woodley said.
“(Retirement is) not just about holidays.”
He is chuffed at the voters’ faith in his ability to continue representing the region.
“If they thought I was performing well and that I was a good contributor to the region (that’s great),” he said.
He is very pleased that he polled the highest number of votes at the Coledale polling station.
“I’m pretty honoured by that,” Cr Woodley said.