IT’S election day in Queanbeyan and despite the cool, blowy conditions voters are starting to hit the polls in force.
More than 20,000 votes will be counted tonight, with the newly elected mayor and nine councillors likely to be announced before 10pm.
Jerrabomberra Public School was an early hotspot with mayoral candidates Jamie Cregan, Brian Brown and current Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall all handing out ‘how to vote’ flyers while state Member for Monaro John Barilaro manned the barbecue.
Labor candidate Brian Brown was supported at Jerra by Federal MP Mike Kelly, and Cr Overall was also joined by Deputy Mayor Peter Bray.
The Jerrabomberra polling booth is likely to prove one of the more tightly contested polls this election.
It was Mayor Overall’s strongest booth at the 2008 election, but he’s competing against well-known Jerra identities Brian Brown and Jamie Cregan this time. However his deputy mayor Cr Bray is also a well-known Jerra local.
Cr Overall said he was confident of another strong performance this time around.
“There’s a bit of a festive atmosphere out here. There’s been people in funny hats and the sausage sizzle is roaring, and it’s all happening,” he said.
Cr Overall also said he had the policy achievement track-record to get across the line.
“I think this has been an election of signs over substance from some councillors,” Cr Overall said.
“I think it’s fair to say that in 2008 there was a vote for trust [in me], and this time around it’s a vote for the achievement of the last four years. We’ve delivered what we said we’d deliver, and we’ll do so again,” he said.
Labor candidate Brian Brown said he was also confident of a strong showing in the polls.
“I don’t think anyone can predict what happens today, but I’m certainly confident of a strong performance.”
Jamie Cregan agreed the mayoral result would be hard to predict.
“It will be interesting to see which way it goes, but the people have been personable and cheerful and wished me well. I’m enjoying myself,” he said.
To follow the election count when polls close at 6pm tonight, visit www.votensw.info.