Thursday, March 21, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Mackay’s Mayoral Race Down To Two

The race for Mackay Regional Council’s top job has been narrowed down to two, with incumbent Greg Williamson and Steve Jackson vying for the mayoral position after Laurence Bonaventura bowed out following Saturday’s local government election.

At the time of writing, 80.23% of the 88,861 enrolled electors’ votes for mayor had been counted, with 41.95% of those going the way of Mr Williamson, 38.63% going to Mr Jackson and 19.42% going to Mr Bonaventura.

Postal votes will continue to be received and counted until next Tuesday, March 26, at which point second preferences will be allocated to determine the next mayor of the Mackay Regional Council.

And Then There Were Two

Williamson and Jackson Vying For Top Job In Mackay’s Mayoral Race

As votes continue to be counted and preferences allocated, the two remaining candidates vying for the position of mayor of the Mackay Regional Council are both waiting patiently for a declaration.

“There’s nothing you can do at this stage,” said incumbent Greg Williamson.

“There’s no sense of worrying or pre-empting, it’s all done, and the count is yet to come.”

Steve Jackson added that he is trying not “to get too excited about it”.

“I’m just back to normal life now,” he said.

“I’ve got a few experienced people telling me the rule of thumb with preferences and what the numbers are; at the moment, it’s just an educated guess, so it’s going to be very close.”

The race for the top job was narrowed down to Mr Williamson and Mr Jackson after the third candidate, Laurence Bonaventura, conceded defeat.

“I accept the result, the result’s quite clear,” Mr Bonaventura said.

“The result does show, though, that 60 per cent of people voted for change and that’s something I think the new council needs to take on board.”

Once all first preference votes have been counted, all votes for Mr Bonaventura, which stands at over 13,000 votes at the time of writing, will be distributed to their second preference.

Mr Williamson said his campaign was long and unlike previous campaigns with the changing landscape of social media.

“That’s what elections are going to be these days, all based around social media where it’s hard to combat untruths,” he said.

“Particularly when we don’t have daily newspapers and the expense of getting information out these days, it really makes it difficult for a lot of candidates in the field, so they are interesting times.”

“But be that as it may, it was great to fight for the privilege of another four years as Mayor of the Mackay Regional Council.


“I’ve certainly enjoyed the last eight and look forward to completing many of the projects we’ve started”.

Mr Jackson, a business owner and former rugby league player, said it’s been a “hectic” but rewarding campaign.

“It’s been amazing, I’ve learnt so much and experienced things I’ve never experienced in my long life, so I’m very happy that I’ve gone through with it,” he said.

“If they (voters) are prepared to accept an inexperienced mayoral candidate, and I get the same amount of votes as the incumbent who’s been there for quite a while, change may be wanted.”

A councillor of 12 years, Mr Bonaventura said he was honoured to have served his community.

“The achievements that I’ve made personally in council, I’ll always remember, but more than that, it’s those little achievements for people,” he said.

At the time of writing, 22.39 per cent of the 88,861 enrolled electors’ votes for councillor had been counted.

Two independent candidates seeking re-election, Martin Bella and Belinda Hassan, lead the pack with 4.39 per cent and 4.17 per cent respectively.

At the time of writing, another independent candidate followed the two leaders in Peter Sheedy with 4.05 per cent followed by former Member for Dawson George Christensen (3.95 per cent), Narmarca Corowa (3.9 per cent), incumbent Alison Jones (3.84 per cent), former deputy mayor Karen May (3.83 per cent), incumbents Pauline Townsend (3.8 per cent) and Fran Mann (3.78 per cent), and first time candidate Ash-Lee Johnson (3.75 per cent).

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