Council elections: Snowy Monaro mixing it up with familiar faces and new

Made quota: Bob Stewart, Lynley Miners and James Ewart will sit on the inaugural Snowy Monaro Regional Council based on primary votes.
Made quota: Bob Stewart, Lynley Miners and James Ewart will sit on the inaugural Snowy Monaro Regional Council based on primary votes.

A grazier and former longstanding mayor, a transport operator and a 23-year-old apprentice carpenter.

While final results for the local government elections aren’t yet known, it’s clear Snowy Monaro Regional Council will see a mix of old faces and new, experience and youthful enthusiasm.

On primary votes, only three of the 27 candidates have so far made the quota to claim one of the 11 councillor seats on offer – Bob Stewart, Lynley Miners and James Ewart.

The remainder of the council makeup will be determined over coming days as preferences are distributed.

However, the result is “really overwhelming” according to Mr Stewart, an ex-councillor with Bombala Council for 22 years, 12 of those as mayor.

“It’s amazing for me to see the result right across the area. I’ve polled well in every booth that I have seen which is very humbling,” he said.

Mr Stewart polled 14.21 per cent of the primary vote across the huge newly amalgamated Snowy Monaro shire, 1555 votes as at the time of writing.

With the quota required for election sitting at 912, the former mayor has easily reclaimed a seat on the council and intends to put his hat in the ring for the top job once again.

“I said that I would consider it if I polled reasonably well, so after this result I have no hesitation in putting my name forward for mayor,” Mr Stewart said.

“Because I’ve been quite vocal about how the merger process was implemented I think that’s why there has been solid support [for me] across the region.

“In saying that, we have to work with it now and hold state government to account for the decision.”

At the other end of the spectrum is “Boo” Ewart, who at 23 will be a voice for the region’s youth on a table traditionally dominated by older heads.

He claimed 9.27 per cent of the primary vote, passing the quota by 102 votes (1014 at the time of writing).

“It’s a very exciting time,” Mr Ewart said this week.

“It’s great to see the area get behind someone with a different viewpoint, a different voice.”

Mr Ewart said he first took an interest in council matters when trying to get his road graded, but found the process so intriguing he continued to join the meeting gallery at every opportunity.

“They were speaking on behalf of people under the age of 30, but what they were saying was not necessarily what everyone around me wanted.

“Once I started travelling around to the council meetings I decided I may as well try to get a spot on the big table.”

Mr Miners was the other candidate to already have a seat confirmed, with 1430 votes, 13.07 per cent of the primary vote.