Forty candidates to contest Bathurst Regional Council election | Poll

FORMER mayor Greg Westman is the most notable omission from the list of candidates for next month’s council election following the close of nominations on Wednesday.

Cr Westman finally made the decision not to contest another election to allow him to concentrate on a new career in real estate.

His new job with Raine & Horne Bathurst has already created difficulties as Cr Westman has been forced to leave the council chambers during the discussion of a number of development applications due to a pecuniary interest in the matters.

His withdrawal from the race means there will be at least three new faces on Bathurst Regional Council after voters go to the polls on September 9, with Gary Rush and Michael Coote not running either.

A bumper field 40 candidates will spend the next month campaigning to win one of the nine seats on council, with teams – or “tickets” – dominating this year’s ballot paper.

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The seven above-the-line teams – headed by current councillors Graeme Hanger, Ian North, Bobby Bourke, Monica Morse and Warren Aubin along with former councillor Jess Jennings and The Greens’ John Fry – account for 36 of the names on the ballot paper.

Another former councillor, Gordon Crisp, has formed a two-person group with Don Grant while Nick Packham and Alex Christian will run as solo candidates.

This will be the third time Mr Crisp has tried to win a place on council since his 16-year local government career ended in controversial fashion in 2008 when his place was declared vacant after he missed three consecutive meetings without having an apology recorded.

He said he still believed he had something to offer.

“I believe I can make some contribution because unlike many people, like the mayor who has stated he will rely on advice given by senior officers, I’m prepared to look at the advice to try and assess it on its merits,” he said.

The ballot draw for positions on the ballot paper was conducted at 6pm on Wednesday.

More election news, page 4

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