Wimmera local government elections 2016: Who's in and who's out?

Wondering who's running in your shire? Scroll down for a break-down of all Wimmera councils. 

WIMMERA councils have received record nominations for state-wide local government elections next month.

At the previous council election in 2012 there were 73 nominees for 46 positions across seven councils; this year there are 79 nominees for the vacancies.

Yarriambiack chief executive Ray Campling said it was great to see so many people wanting to represent their community.

“There are certainly ups and downs of being involved but I’m sure all councillors and former councillors would say it’s a wonderful process and a positive opportunity to contribute to your community,” he said.

Mr Campling said more publicity of local government could have contributed to the increase in candidates.

“There is more awareness and appreciation of contributing to the local government sector this year,” he said.

“We put in a lot of work to promote council elections because it is such an important and crucial role.”

Yarriambiack Shire will be among the most highly contested council, with 14 people vying for a position, compared with 11 at the last council elections.

For Horsham Rural City, there was a last minute surge in candidates after only three people had nominated on Monday.  At the close of nominations on Tuesday, 14 people had put up their hand.

Horsham Mayor Heather Phillips and councillors Pam Clarke, David Grimble and Mark Radford will stand again, while councillors Sue Exell, Tony Phelan and Robin Barber will stand down.

West Wimmera Shire Council will consist largely of new faces for the next four years, with only one existing councillors standing for re-election.

Eight new people will contest the council’s five vacancies.

West Wimmera chief executive David Leahy said the fact that there would be an election in the shire was a positive outcome.

“There seems to be a good spread of people from across the municipality,” he said.

“It will be a good democratic process.”

Ten people will contest Hindmarsh Shire, including former councillor Elizabeth Chivell.

Ms Chivell said she had always been a volunteer and did things for other people.

“Even if means stepping up, putting my face out there and copping flack,” she said.

“I'm big on social justice and think that needs to be element in council.”


FEARS of a small field of candidates for the Horsham Rural City Council election have been averted with 14 people nominating.

John Robinson, Scott Johns, Shaun McKinnon, Aletha Sedgeman, Chris Gulvin, David Bowe, Les Power, Joshua Koenig, Ross Kathryn and Di Bell will campaign to get on council.

Previous Horsham councillors Heather Phillips, Mark Radford, Pam Clarke and David Grimble have nominated for another term.

Horsham chief executive Peter Brown had previously expressed concern at the slow pace of nominations and called for candidates to come forward.

After nomination deadline on Tuesday, Mr Brown said it was really good to see how many had put up their hand.

“Its a strong and diverse field for voter to choose from,” he said.

“There are candidates that represent a wide range of views and experiences.”

Previous term mayors Heather Phillips and Cr Radford had already announced they would nominate.

Cr Clarke and Cr Grimble did not declare their intention until the final ballot list was released.

Cr Grimble said it had been a big decision.

"Sometimes it's hard in municipal government to decide when it's appropriate to stand down or go,” he said.

"I had some heavy work to do in council before making it public that I would stand again."


ALL WARDS in Yarriambiack Shire will be contested.

Standing for Dunmunkle ward will be Anne Forssman, Bob Scates, Corinne Heintze, David Cracker, Tom Hamilton and Judith Heeps.

Standing for Hopetoun Ward will be councillors Helen Ballentine and Andrew McLean, along with Shane Roberts and Rita Stewart.

Standing for Warracknabeal ward will be councillors Graeme Massey and Kylie Zanker, along with Jean Wise and Ross Arnup.

There are two vacancies in each ward.

Mayor Ray Kingston and councillor Lisa Woods will not stand again.

Former Labor candidate for Lowan Bob Scates said he wanted to run because he loved the Wimmera. “It is a huge challenge to try to replace former mayor Ray Kingston, who is retiring,” he said.

“I look forward to doing a listening tour of the smaller towns in the shire.”

Mr Scates has just retired from taxi driving in Horsham.

“I wish all candidates the best of luck on the campaign trail.”


ONLY one of West Wimmera Shire’s five councillors will contest the local govenrment elections next month.

Cr Bruce Meyer will stand as a candidate again, while Mayor Annette Jones, Cr Richard Wait and long-serving councillors Ron Hawkins and Warren Wait will step down. Residents will definitely go the polls as seven new people have announced they will run for council.

Candidates will be Edenhope’s Jennifer Ackland and Trevor Domaschenz, Kaniva’s Richard Hicks, Minimay’s Jodie Pretlove, Harrow’s Tom Houlihan and Goroke’s Rebecca Sluggett, Clare Robertson and Rosemary Medlock.

Cr Jones said deciding not to stand again was a difficult decision to make.

“I have been appreciative of the number of people who have spoken to me hopeful that I will re-stand,” she said.

“There is no ‘job done' moment within local government and while I can look back over the past four years and point to some achievements.

“I have willingly contributed long hours and of course, this has affected my family. 

“They have accepted without complaint my long absences and our rather chaotic home life. 

“After four years it's now important that I put them first.”

Cr Jones said she was proud to have served as mayor for the past two years. 

“I have had the opportunity to meet many remarkable people from across West Wimmera Shire and from further afield,” she said.

“During this time I have advocated and lobbied on behalf of our shire.

“We have had some notable successes and I am particularly proud of obtaining $1.5 million in drought relief funding. 

“This money will bring lasting benefits to our shire.”


RECONTESTING: Hindmarsh Shire councillors Rob Gersch, Wendy Robbins Ron Ismay, Debra Nelson, Tony Schneider and Ron Lowe.

RECONTESTING: Hindmarsh Shire councillors Rob Gersch, Wendy Robbins Ron Ismay, Debra Nelson, Tony Schneider and Ron Lowe.

TWO of Hindmarsh Shire Council’s three wards will be contested this local government election. 

In the east ward Mayor Debra Nelson and incumbent Cr Tony Schneider face competition from Clifford Unger and Mary Clarke for the two ward positions.  

Former councillor Elizabeth Chivell, Cr Ron Ismay and Cr Rob Lowe will contest the north ward’s two seats.  

Cr Wendy Robins who currently represents the west ward, is now contesting the north ward. 

Ms Chivell was elected at the last election before standing down from her position, she said she had valid reasons for resigning but wished to represent Hindmarsh Shire. 

“If I see someone’s been wronged I’ll be standing there with them but presenting a valid argument,” he said. 

“Council needs to look at themselves instead of looking at constituents to have the income.” 

Cr Rob Gersch and David Colbert will stand for the two west ward positions uncontested. 


COUNCILLORS looking to represent the Northern Grampians Shire’s Stawell ward will face stiff competition with six people vying for three positions. 

Contesting the Stawell ward are Craig Mark Williams, Graeme William Anyon, Karen Hislop. Murray Emerson, Harold Allan Cooper and Rob Haswell, who will appear in that order on the ballot.

Kara Kara Ward, centered on St Arnaud, south-west ward, covering Halls Gap and central ward will all be uncontested by the incumbent councilors.


DONALD will be represented by Daryl Warren, Brendan Beasley and Carolyn Stewart in the three Mount Jeffcott ward seats.


THIRTEEN people will contest Ararat Rural City’s seven positions at next month’s elections.

Councillors Glenda McLean, Paul Hooper, Frank Deutsch, Fay Hull, Gary Hull and Gwenda Allgood will stand again for council.

New candidates Bill Braithwaite, Peter Beales, David Pettman, Jo Armstrong. Darren Ford, Bernadine Atkinson and Murray Woods will also run.

Councillor Colin McKenzie will not run again.​

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