Jul 18

Newcastle council deputy mayor Stephanie Posniak in with luck of the bin

NEW ROLE: Labor’s Stephanie Posniak takes charge of Newcastle council chambers last Tuesday night, as the new deputy mayor determined by a draw from a plastic bin.THE balance of power in Newcastle council chambers for the next few weeks has been decided by a blue plastic bin and a randomly drawn piece of paper.

Newcastle residents will head back to the polling booths again on November 15 to elect a new mayor following the resignation of Jeff McCloy.

But in a dramatic turn of events, councillors were also due to elect a new deputy mayor in-house, just weeks out from the public mayoral vote.

Councillor Brad Luke has been acting in the mayor’s capacity since Mr McCloy stood down after giving evidence at the Independent Commission Against Corruption in August.

At last week’s council meeting, fellow Liberal councillor Lisa Tierney tried to muster support to keep Cr Luke as deputy mayor until after the mayoral byelection.

However, general manager Ken Gouldthorp agreed with Labor councillor Nuatali Nelmes, who pointed out that the Local Government Act requires a vote must be taken.

Two nominations were accepted from the floor – Labor’s Stephanie Posniak and Cr Luke.

Mr Gouldthorp declared Cr Posniak the winner after two separate votes, stating two of the votes were invalid in the first round.

With a 6-6 deadlock in the second vote, the winner was decided by drawing a name out of a bin.

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