Giacomo Arnott, Sarah Smith and Glen Dunkley are clear election winners ready to join Port Stephens Council

NEW FACES: Glen Dunkley (east ward), Sarah Smith (central) and Giacomo Arnott (west) are the new faces who are certainties on the new council.
NEW FACES: Glen Dunkley (east ward), Sarah Smith (central) and Giacomo Arnott (west) are the new faces who are certainties on the new council.

There will be a few new faces on Port Stephens Council chambers once all the votes are counted.

While the declaration of the polls is unlikely before Friday there’s already some clear winners ready to take a seat at the horseshoe surrounding mayor-elect Ryan Palmer. 

Among them is Giacomo Arnott from the west ward who polled strongly at the election.

Mr Arnott, on a Labor ticket, achieved 27.16 per cent of first preference before the distribution of preferences, which gave him the confidence to claim the win.

At 23, it makes him the youngest councillor yet elected to council.

He downplayed talk from before the election that he would push for a review of the Lord’s Prayer at council meetings.

“Honestly, it’s not very high on my priority list,” he said.

“I’ll want to do all that I can to support small business and reinstating the webcast of council meetings as a priority.”

Like many though he was eager to know the make up of the new council and who his fellow west ward councillors would be.

With just less than half a quota there’s little hope that Peter Kafer will return.

“It’s pretty safe to say Ken Jordan will come back onto council but it’s less clear what will happen with Paul Le Mottee,” Mr Arnott said.

“With the flow of preferences Jillian Lye could even be joining me.”

Another new face will be Anna Bay coffee shop proprietor Sarah Smith, who will join old-hand Steve Tucker.

Whether Chris Doohan survives the count on 15.5 per cent of first preference votes, against Des Maslen on 13.95 per cent, remains unclear. 

“I’m very excited to join council,” Mrs Smtih said.

“These past few days have been a little crazy but I’m excited to get my teeth into it, meet some people in Medowie and Tilligerry and start working closely with Ryan.”

Mrs Smith said she didn’t know what to expect going to the polls.

“I was confident in this immediate [Anna Bay] area but what I’m really pleased about is holding my own in Medowie against Chris Doohan and Steve Tucker at Tillgerry,” she said.

“I can only put it down to hard work and the time spent talking to people during pre-polling, where you can spend a little more time talking to people.”

The success of Ryan Palmer in the east ward will carry his running partner Glen Dunkley into council.

“It’s exciting,” Mr Dunkley said.

“It’s something [Ryan and I] have wanted to do for a while now, to make a difference in the community, to sure up the future, and ensure we get the council strategies right.”