INCUMBENT Moree mayor Katrina Humphries has completely dominated voting in the election for Moree Plains Shire Council, garnering 47.32 per cent of first-preference votes in Saturday’s poll.
Cr Humphries said she was “very happy” – but noted the support of her council team, staff, family and the voters who voted for her played a huge part in her success.
Cr Humphries has even managed to better her first-term poll result by another five per cent.
“I got 42.5 per cent last time,” she said.
Cr Humphries’s tally of 2653 was streets ahead of deputy mayor Sue Price’s count of 610.
But Cr Price’s tally was also enough to meet the quota of 561, so she will also be re-elected.
John Tramby was next, on 392 – not enough to meet the quota.
Cr Humphries said postal votes were still coming in “but I don’t think that’s going to make much difference”.
Cr Humphries said her immediate focus would be on this Thursday’s Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre grand cocktail-night opening after its multimillion-dollar facelift – what she has previously described as the jewel in the crown of Moree tourism.
“As council goes, well, we’ve got a lot of roads to fix – and that’s ongoing,” she said.
Cr Humphries was referring to the two floods over the 2011-12 summer – which will cost $40 million to fix.
She said another big project the council was keen to see up and runing was the Moree Gateway – a huge, light-industrial precinct planned for the southern side of town near the airport.
The development application was still to go in – but she’s confident it will go ahead.
“We’ve been working on this for three years,” Cr Humphries said.
Quite a few businesses are planned for the precinct including a car dealership, truck stop, “probably” a new tourism precinct and a homewares store.
This would “free up space in town”, Cr Humphries said.
Work should start on the precinct “within a couple of months”.
Cr Humphries was excited that the Moree Tourism Information Centre is a finalist in the 2012 NSW Tourism Awards, which will be held on November 22.
In regards to mining and agriculture, she said that the Department of Primary Industries was shortly to release its designated farming categories.
“We need to have the farming categories designated for protection,” Cr Humphries said.
There would be some “big conferences in town next year too” – the CWA state conference which would see 800-900 women descend on the town and the 2013 Inland Tourism Awards in July.
“So, we’ve got good things happening ... a lot of things to look forward to,” Cr Humphries said.
The self-deprecating nature shines in this daughter of former deputy premier of NSW Wal Murray.
“I’d like to thank the council staff and thank the council team. I’m very fortunate that I’m surrounded by a whole lot of people who are a lot smarter than I am – and are too polite to say that.”