New vacancy after councillor leaves the state

ANOTHER recount will be conducted on votes cast in the 2018 council election to find a replacement for Derwent Valley Councillor Frank Pearce who has moved interstate and is no longer eligible to be a councillor. Cr Pearce advised last month’s council meeting that this was likely to be the case.

Cr Pearce and his wife Linda have since moved interstate to be closer to their families. This being the case, Derwent Valley Council general manager Dean Griggs yesterday advised the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner that Cr Pearce no longer lived in Tasmania and as a result was no longer eligible to be a councillor under Schedule 5 of the Local Government Act 1993.

Cr Pearce, a former general manager of the Glenorchy City Council, served on the Derwent Valley Council from 2014-18. He was returned to the council table by recount in October 2019 when Rachel Power resigned as a councillor.

Cr Pearce said his time on the council had been interesting and rewarding and he would miss it. He and wife Linda operated Heimat Chalets at Black Hills before moving into New Norfolk several years ago. Their new home is in Victoria.

The recount to fill the vacancy will be delayed until after the current Derwent Valley Council by-elections to provide a new mayor and councillors. Electoral commissioner Andrew Hawkey said he would write to the remaining eligible candidates on February 25 and the recount will be conducted on March 7. The person elected will serve until the 2022 ordinary elections expected to be held in October.

This is likely to be the last recount conducted before this year’s general council elections. Mr Hawkey said March 3 would be the start of the six-month period prior to the Notice of Election for the 2022 statewide Local Government Elections. Under the Local Government Act 1993, no councillor or mayor vacancies are filled during this period, unless a council cannot establish a quorum.

4 Comments

  1. Assuming all who contested the recount of Power’s vacancy remain in the pool, it would be assumed from this that Chris Lester would be elected – would that be correct?

    1. Potentially, although there are now several candidates out of the mix since the last recount of Ms Power’s votes, so the flow of preferences will be different to a certain extent, and some votes will simply exhaust. It will be interesting, as will be the next six months.

  2. I’m left wondering why Ex Councillor Pearce found it necessary to attend the last Council meeting when his intention to leave was well known and he left Tasmania shortly after. What did his vote count for?
    Surely a recount of his position could have been finalised before the by-election.

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