Anne Webster declared as Member for Mallee

The seat of Mallee has remained in the hands of The National Party, with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) officially declaring Nationals candidate Anne Webster as Member for Mallee on Saturday.

Ms Webster is the first woman to take on the role and retained the seat for The Nationals with 27.86 percent of the primary vote.

She was followed closely by Liberal candidate Serge Petrovich with 18.83 percent and Labor candidate Carole Hart with 15.69 percent.

In the two party preferred system, Ms Webster took 66.23 percent of the vote over Ms Hart’s 33.77 percent.

The Mallee was the final division in the Commonwealth to be declared, and the announcement comes a month on from the May 18 election which saw 13 candidates vying for the seat, including Maryborough’s own Ms Hart and the Science Party’s Leigh Firman.

An AEC spokesperson said the longer wait time for the Mallee was due to the large number of candidates and polling places.

“It took a slightly longer period than other divisions because Mallee was required to undertake a full distribution of preferences before they could declare,” they said.

“Given the number of candidates and polling places in Mallee, their distribution of preferences was the largest and most complex in the country. There were over 100,000 ballot papers to count from over 120 combined polling places.”

The more than 80,000 square kilometre electorate has been held by The Nationals since its creation in 1959 and Ms Webster said now the result is confirmed, she is looking forward to “getting on with the job”.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, June 18

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