Bundaberg CBD cafe owner Tracey McPhee has claimed Division 4.
Bundaberg CBD cafe owner Tracey McPhee has claimed Division 4.

Cafe owner claims Division 4

ALOWISHUS Delicious owner Tracey McPhee has claimed victory for Division 4 after acknowledging by “all indications” the wide margin between her and the two other candidates.

She had 50.5 per cent of the unofficial preliminary count as of Monday morning.

Tanya Lee Jones had 38.23 per cent, while John Valuch had 11.2 per cent.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who put their faith in me to join our council in this very trying time for our region,” the cafe owner said.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to have a council ready to continue to respond to the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus.

“I’m ready and excited to be a part of this team and to serve Bundy.”

Mrs McPhee recognised the work of her staff at Alowishus, and said she had increased their training and mentoring for the last six months in order to give them more of a leadership role.

“We wanted them in a position to take on the full day-to-day operation of the business and run all aspects of Alowishus in the event I earned the support of Division 4 to be their local councillor,” she said.

“That’s now happened, and I’ll be taking a step back from the business to focus solely on serving Bundy in my new job as their councillor.

“I have a very loyal and hardworking team at Alowishus and their support has meant the world to me.”

She thanked her husband, family, friends and customers for supporting her campaign, which she had first announced last November, days after the incumbent councillor Helen Blackburn announced her mayoral intention.

Mrs McPhee also congratulated Mayor Jack Dempsey on his success and looking forward to working with the council team.

“I also want to thank outgoing Division 4 councillor Helen Blackburn for her tireless work in our community over the last four years, she has done a wonderful job.”

She said it felt “surreal” when asked if it felt strange to be referred to as ‘Cr McPhee.’

“Am I allowed to be just Tracey still? I would like that,” she said.

Ms Jones said she would not concede a loss at this point in time, and was hoping the margin might be reduced further in the week, particularly since there was still telephone votes to come through.

“It’s a tough one at this point in time,” she said.

“I’m going to wait until it’s completely finalised.

“I’m good though.

“I don’t want to call it and wait until it runs its course.”