Clare set to become Mayor

Current Deputy Mayor Clare McLaughlin has been provisionally elected as Whyalla Mayor following a tightly-contested election.

Ms McLaughlin defeated her main challenger Tom Antonio by a slim margin of 82 votes after preferences were allocated on Saturday 3166 to 3084.

Mr Antonio finished with the most first preference votes but lost out once all preference were distributed. Former Mayor Lyn Breuer finished in third position, and Kathryn Caswell in fourth.

Once officially elected Mayor on a new Whyalla City Council, Ms McLaughlin said she hopes to build on what the previous council had worked towards.

“It will be about continuing to develop of the livability of our city and attracting investments from interstate and overseas, which will help diversify our economy,” she said.

“That is key for our city’s stability moving forward.”

Ms McLaughlin will step up to the position of Mayor at an important time in Whyalla’s history, as the steel city continues to rebound from the downturn caused by the Arrium crisis.

“It will be important for council to work with GFG Alliance on their upcoming developments in a positive way,” she said.

Ms McLaughlin said she focused on running a ‘clean and positive’ campaign during the mayoral election.

“It was about me and that was really it,” she said.

“I was up against two high profile candidates – that was challenging for me. I had to work hard for every vote I got because I wasn’t as well known.”

The provisionally-elected Mayor will aim to lead a cohesive council that is ‘leading our community in a positive way’.

While first preferences have been counted for the Area Councillor election, the final result is expected to be announced by Wednesday. 

“I’m really looking forward to working with the new team,” Ms McLaughlin said.

She is well known in the community for previously being the manager of the Westlands Shopping Centre and the Whyalla Leisure Centre, and now being the owner of Leading Edge Jewellers.

Over 1000 more vote envelopes were received in the 2018 Whyalla City Council Election compared to 2014, with roughly 7000 returned this year.