Bendigo residents tune out to council elections

MOST Bendigo residents don’t particularly care who is elected to the council and aren’t following the elections. 

The Bendigo Advertiser spoke to 30 people across the three wards and asked if they were following the elections, knew the candidates or cared who was elected. 

Twenty-three people said they didn’t care about the elections, the council or the candidates, and seven said they were following the election to varying degrees. 

Sharyn Holmes of Kangaroo Flat summed up the mood of most people the Advertiser spoke to, saying she “couldn’t care less” about the elections. 

Laney Cole of White Hills said she didn’t know most of the candidates and Pete Comran of Eaglehawk said he “didn’t know anything about the election”. 

“You don’t seem to hear much from the candidates,” he said. “It hasn’t really been signposted.” 

Ian Grenfell of Epsom said he knew a little bit about the candidates and said he knew incumbent candidate Lisa Ruffell. Four other voters said they supported Cr Ruffell, most coming from within her ward of Whipstick. 

Ian Coulter of Epsom was one of the few voters taking an active interest in the elections. 

“I’ve followed it closely,” he said. “I’m concerned about growth and jobs. You’ve got a big city and you need the jobs to go with it.” 

Bendigo’s Janine Ryan said she cared about the elections because previous councillors hadn’t lived up to her expectations, and Mary Jorgensen of Strathdale said she wanted to see someone elected who was concerned for the whole community. 

“I just want someone there that does something for everybody,” she said.

“You want people who really are concerned for the whole of Bendigo, not just their little electorate. I like to see people get a fair go.”

Voting closes at 6pm today and winners are expected to be known on Sunday afternoon, followed by a declaration of the poll on Monday.

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