THE Greens’ John Fry has survived 37 rounds of preference counting to win the ninth and final spot on the new Bathurst Regional Council.
Mr Fry will be one of three new faces in the chamber, along with Alex Christian and Jacqui Rudge.
They will be joined by returning councillors Bobby Bourke, Graeme Hanger, Ian North, Warren Aubin, Jess Jennings and Monica Morse for what will be just a three-year term.
The new council will come together for a mock meeting with senior council staff on Monday with the first full council meeting set down for next Wednesday, where councillors will elect a mayor and deputy mayor.
Mr Fry said The Greens team was always confident of winning a spot on council but he was relieved to receive final confirmation.
“We knew we wouldn’t get there at the start of counting but were confident we would get there at the end,” he said.
“I was in and out all week so it was good to get a result.
“For me the priority will be looking after the natural environment – that's a big part of who we are.
“I want to see increased tree cover across the region, increased local food production and greater use of renewable energy, but local jobs over-arch all of that.”
Mr Fry said he had already had a number of conversations about who should be mayor but he was yet to make a decision.
“I will be looking for an alignment with our policies, whoever that is,” he said.
Ms Rudge, who was elected to council on the strength of preferences from Mr Bourke, will join Ms Morse as the only two women on council – twice as many as last time.
She said she was happy to have been elected with Mr Bourke’s support but she would be an independent thinker on council.
“Bobby does need support on council and we made no secret of that during the campaign,” Ms Rudge said.
“I will be making my own decisions on council but Bobby and I are of the same mind with a lot of things. There will be other areas where we don’t agree, though.”
Ms Rudge said it had been a nervous wait for a final result but she was thrilled to have won a place on council.
“I’m just delighted that people have shown faith in Bobby and me to do the right thing,” she said.
“I won’t please everybody with my decisions but I will certainly do my best and be honest.
“I want to make myself available for people to come and talk to me – I want to reach out to hear how people want us to go.”
Ms Rudge said she had not yet discussed mayoral choices.
“I have just been focused on getting a seat in council,” she said.
“We’ve come through a relentless two weeks of pre-polling which took a lot out of all of us but now we know the final result we can get our heads around other issues.”
Ms Rudge said she was proud to be the second woman elected to council and paid credit to Ms Morse for putting her hand up to serve another term.
Mr Christian, who defied the odds as a solo candidate by winning a spot on council on first preference votes, said his first priority was to have a roundabout installed at the intersection of Mitre, Lambert and Suttor streets, closely followed by a rollout of council-funded CCTV cameras around the central business district.
“I want something similar to what they have in Lithgow, Dubbo and Orange – we’re talking 20-25 cameras that are wirelessly beamed back to the police station that can be watched in real time if there’s an issue,” he said.
“As the technology has improved, the cost has come right down.”
Mr Christian said he had spoken to a number of people about next week’s mayoral vote but his final decision would be “very much mine alone”.