The first preference votes have been tallied for the new Hepburn Shire Council, with four clear victors already emerging.
Kate Redwood will return to her seat on Birch ward, joined by newcomer Fiona Robson, who is also the new manager of the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre.
Creswick councillors Don Henderson and Greg May have been reinstated unopposed.
The remaining wards will not be finalised until Monday, but first preference votes are giving an indication there will only some change from the previous council line-up.
Incumbent mayor Neil Newitt has a strong lead in Cameron ward, gaining 48.59 per cent of the first preference vote.
Meanwhile, incumbent Coliban ward councillor Sebastian Klein is also looking safe, with 39.74 per cent of the first preference vote.
The Courier understands that incumbent Holcombe ward councillor Bill McClenaghan may have lost his seat.
Mr McClenaghan has been Holcombe’s elected representative since 2005 and was reinstated in the past two elections unopposed.
Although in the lead by five votes in the first preference count, it appears he has been toppled by challenger, Hepburn Health board director and Swinburne University unit convener and PhD candidate John Cottrell.
Cr Robson said she was looking forward to forging partnerships between council and other service providers in Hepburn Shire.
“I think we can achieve a lot more by working together, with CAFS and Hepburn Health and also other state and federal government organisations,” she said.
She also said she was pleased with the election results.
“It sounds like small changes but significant changes and I think they will be a great four years,” she said.
“I think I’m going to work well with all of them.”
Cr Robson acknowledged the other candidates who stood for council.
“It is such an important and difficult process,” she said.
“Hopefully in the future we’ll have even more people (standing) – it gives people the chance to have a say.”
Don Henderson and Sebastian Klein have both held their positions since 2008, Neil Newitt since 2010, and Greg May and Kate Redwood since 2012.
Earlier, Cr Henderson had expressed his disappointment there were no challengers for Creswick ward.
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