Let the counting begin

AS voting centres close across the Valley the anxious wait to see who will be our new Federal MP begins.

Both Labor's Janelle Saffin and the National's candidate Kevin Hogan will be at parties in the north of the electorate.

Polling booths were a little quieter this year than in days gone by, as more people than ever before voted before election day, returns officer for Page, Leigh Thurgwood explained.

He said since the 2010 election regulations around early voting were loosened.

It means people no longer have to give a reason to vote early and across the Valley it has clearly been a popular reform.

"20,000 people have voted, at early voting centres, in the Page electorate," Mr Thurgwood said.

Voter apathy was alive and well at South Grafton High School where Aaron Hewitt from Coutts Crossing said compulsory voting should be abolished.

"I'd rather be at work," Mr Hewitt said.

Since 1991 the seat of Page has gone the way of the election.

But during the most recent election incumbent Page MP Janelle actually extended her majority, despite a swing to the Coalition.

The question is can Ms Saffin hold the seat against the National's Kevin Hogan, in an election the media are expecting to be a landslide?

For Mr Thurgwood, who will be in charge of the counting of ballots, a long night's work looms.

"But that's okay, it's my job," Mr Thurgwood said.

The virtual tally room is now open: http://vtr.aec.gov.au/Default.htm

Beach 'idiot' caught doing 'kilometres of donuts'

Beach 'idiot' caught doing 'kilometres of donuts'

Driver will be reported after he was photographed tearing up beach

Two car accident, traffic affected in both directions

Two car accident, traffic affected in both directions

Emergency services are on the scene

Another crash adds to the blackspot tally

Another crash adds to the blackspot tally

Another road incident has occurred near the notorious spot

Local Partners