Douglas Shire Elections
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DOUGLAS Shire mayoral hopeful Julia Leu is in the box seat to win Saturday's election despite still having to deal with a drink-driving charge.
Polling conducted exclusively for The Cairns Post shows Cr Leu, the area's representative for the Cairns Regional
Council, has broad community support with 56 per cent of respondents planning to vote for her on Saturday.
On the poll results, she will be mayor of the breakaway council when it reclaims power on January 1.
But Cr Leu's campaign faced an obstacle yesterday when her low-range drink-driving case was heard in the Mossman Magistrates Court.
Cr Leu was charged last month after recording a blood-alcohol reading of .071 after being pulled over in Mossman.
Cr Leu did not attend the hearing but her lawyer, Michael Bolt, requested an adjournment on her behalf.
She will face court on December 4.
But Cr Leu's run-in with the law appears to have had little effect on her bid to lead the new council.
Polling shows 18 per cent of residents plan to vote for fellow mayoral candidate George Pitt, while 11 per cent said they would vote for James Dormer.
Fifteen per cent have not yet made up their mind, but are not likely to stop Cr Leu from claiming victory after 7000 residents head to the polls on Saturday.
But the next mayor of the shire, which stretches from Wangetti to Wujal Wujal, will have a tough job with residents expecting rates to be kept in check once the long-awaited divorce from CRC is finalised.
The poll of about 200 voters by Compass Research found rates and financial stability as their most important issues, followed by maintaining roads, parks and services, and protection of the environment.
Port Douglas has been the centre of huge community rallies since residents were forced into the unhappy merger in 2007 and the survey shows the vast majority of ratepayers have not changed their minds on the divisive de-amalgamation issue.
Only 6 per cent of residents said they would vote differently if the referendum were held again.
Cr Leu has almost equal support from voters living in Mossman and Port Douglas, while seven out of 10 residents who voted in favour the split at the March referendums say they will vote for her.