A final Melbourne Cup field of 29 candidates will contest the October 22 Greater Shepparton City Council election after nominations closed at noon yesterday.
In the final 24 hours before nominations closed, several candidates made their bid for a seat on the nine-person council that will be elected next month.
From today, the council is in caretaker mode for the next month.
The outgoing council, with two notable apologies, last night made its final decisions before the new council — with two additional councillors — is announced in early November.
Mayor Dinny Adem is on a trade delegation to China, so last night’s five-councillor September meeting, held at the Senior Citizens’ Centre, was chaired by Acting Mayor Fern Summer.
Candidates turned out for the 1.30 pm ballot draw at Shepparton VEC office yesterday, where third-time council candidate Steve Neff drew the ‘‘inside barrier’’ or number one spot.
‘‘People that know me know I’m a punting man,’’ Mr Neff said.
‘‘I drew the barrier, number one in the Melbourne Cup field.
‘‘It’s an advantage, I don’t know if it’s a win.’’
Seema Abdullah secured the second position on the ballot paper, with Shoukat Rafiee third. Kim O’Keeffe is at the bottom of the list of 29.
Overnight Ms O’Keeffe, Bruce Little, Mr Neff, Nejat Mackali, Rashidi Sumaili, Sam Patane, Mark Lawlor, Diane Teasdale, Troy Van Den Akker, Cr Summer, Jason Kelly, Anthony Brophy, Shelley Sutton, Tom Day and Brett Hancock all nominated for election.
Six of the seven current councillors have thrown their hats in the ring; Cr Kevin ‘Gunna’ Ryan this year announced that after more than 30 years in local government, it was time to hear another voice.
The field of 29 candidates, up by three on the 2012 election, means almost one-third of those in the running will be elected to the new council. Among them will be at least three new faces.
Candidate names as they will appear on the Greater Shepparton City Council ballot paper.
Troy Van Den Akker