THE count for the new council to lead Kempsey Shire is underway after voters went to the polls on Saturday, December 4.
First preference votes are being tallied for the position of mayor with Liz Campbell an Leo Hauville going head to head for lead position.
Across the local government area, 22,744 residential and non-residential electors were enrolled to vote as of October 25.
At 7am Sunday, December 5, 13,547 votes had been counted since polls closed at 6pm Saturday.
Former mayor Liz Campbell had secured 4,044 votes as of Sunday morning, or 31.57 per cent of the first preference votes counted so far.
Leo Hauville had 3,601 votes, or 28.11 per cent of the votes counted so far.
Following behind are Arthur Bain for The Greens on 1,817 votes (14.18 per cent); Dean Saul 1,067 votes (8.33 per cent); Troy Irwin 961 votes (7.50 per cent) and Andrew Evans 714 votes (5.57 per cent).
Counting will resume today (Sunday) where the mayoral outcome is likely to be known based on current figures. There is one mayor to be elected from seven candidates.
First preference vote counting has also commenced for the positions of councillor. There are eight councillors to be elected in Kempsey Shire from 22 candidates.
As of 7am Sunday in the Bellingen Shire, Steve Allan is leading the mayoral ballot with 4,049 votes, or 59.11 per cent of the first preference votes counted so far.
He is followed by former mayor Dominic King for The Greens on 1,972 votes (28.79 per cent) and Andrew Woodward for Labor on 829 votes (12.10 per cent).
In Bellingen, 10,286 were enrolled to vote. Six councillors will be elected from 25 candidates.
In the Nambucca Valley, 15,961 residents were enrolled to vote.
Independent and former mayor Rhonda Hoban currently leads the mayoral vote against Susan Jenvey for Labor.
Hoban, who will retain the mayoral position, currently has 6,986 votes (68.01 per cent) while Jenvey has secured 3,286 votes (31.99 per cent).
Hoban has been the mayor of the Nambucca Valley for 13 years.
The count for councillor roles continues. Eight councillors will be chosen from 13 candidates.
Return of completed postal vote certificates closes on December 17.
The distribution of preferences will start on December 21 with the progressive declaration of results through until December 23.
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