2021 Media Statements

For all media enquiries please email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699.

April

Carpentaria Shire Council: nominations close with five candidates vying for councillor role

19 April 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said nominations for the Carpentaria Shire Council by-election have closed and the ballot paper order draw has been conducted. The candidates vying for the vacated councillor role are John Beard, Noel Scott, Doug Thomas, Camden Pascoe, and Taren Jai Carr.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the by-election was triggered by the March resignation of Councillor Peter Wells.

“As Councillor Wells resigned in the middle of the local government’s term, the Local Government Act requires a by-election to fill the vacancy.

“Early voting will be available at Carpentaria Shire Hall at 99 Landsborough Street in Normanton from 9am to 5pm on Wednesday 5 May, Thursday 6 May, and from 9am to 6pm on Friday 7 May.

“Election day voting will be at both the Carpentaria Shire Hall and a venue yet to be confirmed in Karumba, between 8am and 6pm on Saturday 8 May.”

Mr Vidgen said the voting system for an undivided council is determined in the Local Government Electoral Act as first-past-the-post.

“This means Carpentaria Shire Council electors only have to choose one candidate on their ballot paper, as there is one councillor to be elected.

“Postal votes will be sent this week following today’s close of nominations and ballot paper order draw.

“Electors who are postal voting should complete their ballot paper as soon as they receive it and return it as soon as possible to the ECQ in the Reply-Paid envelope.

“To be included in the count, the ECQ must receive postal ballot papers by the deadline of Tuesday 18 May.

“I remind Carpentaria Shire Council electors that voting is compulsory,” he said.

Information about the Carpentaria Shire Council by-election is available at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Election milestone 

Date 

Notice of Election

Friday 9 April 2021

Postal vote applications

OPEN – Friday 9 April 2021

CLOSE – 7pm, Monday 26 April 2021

Close of roll

5pm Thursday 15 April 2021

Close of nominations

Ballot paper order draw

12 noon, Monday 19 April 2021

2.30pm, Monday 19 April 2021

Early voting

From 9am to 5pm Wednesday 5 May and Thursday 6 May, and 9am to 6pm Friday 7 May 2021

Election day

From 8am to 6pm on Saturday 8 May 2021

Deadline for the return of postal votes

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Carpentaria Shire Councillor by-election set for May

Friday 9 April 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said there will be a May by-election to elect a councillor for the Carpentaria Shire Council following the resignation of Cr Peter Wells in late March.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said Cr Wells’ resignation occurred in the middle of the local government’s term so a by-election is required to fill the vacancy in accordance with the Local Government Act.

“Candidate nominations are now open, and I urge anyone interested in nominating to do so well before the deadline of noon on Monday 19 April.

“Nomination forms are available on the ECQ website or from the Returning Officer, and a deposit of $250 must also be paid at the time of nomination.

“Candidates have a number of important tasks to undertake when nominating including completing the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning’s online training module, opening a dedicated campaign bank account, and preparing to declare their personal interests.”

Mr Vidgen said early voting will be available to Carpentaria’s 1,000 electors in Normanton on Wednesday 5 May, Thursday 6 May, and Friday 7 May, with election day on Saturday 8 May.

“The ECQ is currently finalising election day venues in Normanton and Kurumba, and details will be available on the ECQ website as soon as available.

“Anyone choosing to postal vote should apply via the ECQ website as soon as possible so ballot materials can be sent promptly following the close of nominations and ballot paper order draw on Monday 19 April.”

Mr Vidgen said there’s still time to enrol to vote or update enrolment details at aec.gov.au before the roll closes at 5pm on Thursday 15 April.

“Enrolling or checking your enrolment is easy online and only takes a few minutes.

“Voting is one of the most important civic duties we can undertake in a democracy, and I remind electors enrolling and voting is compulsory at all levels of government in Queensland.”

The voting system for the Carpentaria councillor by-election is first-past-the-post as determined by the Local Government Electoral Act 2011.

For all election information including nomination forms and requirements, go to ecq.qld.gov.au.

Election milestone 

Date 

Notice of Election

Friday 9 April 2021

Postal vote applications

OPEN – Friday 9 April 2021

CLOSE – 7pm, Monday 26 April 2021

Close of roll

5pm Thursday 15 April 2021

Close of nominations

Ballot paper order draw

12 noon, Monday 19 April 2021

2.30pm, Monday 19 April 2021

Early voting

From 9am to 5pm Wednesday 5 May and Thursday 6 May, and from 9am to 6pm Friday 7 May 2021

Election day

From 8am to 6pm on Saturday 8 May 2021

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

March

Diamantina Shire Councillor vacancy filled by appointment

Tuesday 30 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said a councillor vacancy for Diamantina Shire has been filled through the appointment of runner-up Donald Rowlands.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said as the resignation of former councillor Steve Cramer in late February 2021 fell within 12 months of the March 2020 local government elections, council had the option under the Local Government Act 2009 to fill the vacancy by appointing a runner-up.

“The Diamantina Shire Council requested the ECQ issue a Vacancy Notice to the runner-up in the 2020 local government elections, Donald Rowlands.

“Mr Rowlands has accepted the offer of filling the councillor vacancy and will take up his role when sworn in by council.”

Mr Vidgen said seven candidates nominated for the four councillor roles at last year’s election with Francis Murray, Doug Cooms, Steve Cramer, and Donald Rayment the successful candidates after securing the most votes.

“Mr Rowlands achieved 12.72 per cent of the vote count and was very close behind Mr Rayment’s 13.16 per cent under the first-past-the-post voting system.

“If Mr Rowlands had declined to accept the role, it would have been offered to the next runner-up, and then so on until the position is filled.

“If no runner-up had accepted, then the Local Government Act determines a by-election would be required.”

To view the Diamantina Shire Council 2020 local government election results, go to https://results1.elections.qld.gov.au/lga2020/02201/primary.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Barcoo by-election declared: Tony Jackson successful candidate

Wednesday 17 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has declared Tony Jackson the successful candidate for the position of councillor for Barcoo Shire Council receiving just over 38 per cent of the 144 formal votes.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the result delivered a difference of only one vote between candidates Tony Jackson (55 votes) and Glen Arrold (54 votes), with Warren Hansen receiving 35 votes.

“This tight result demonstrates clearly to electors that every vote counts.

“There are 207 electors in Barcoo Shire and 146 postal votes were accepted into the count by the deadline of Tuesday 16 March.

“The preliminary count took place after 6pm on election night and the official count followed where the votes were counted again.

“Then in the 10 days between election day and the postal vote deadline, votes were counted in batches to protect the secrecy of the ballot.

“Once the deadline passed and the final votes received, the official count was completed, and the successful candidate declared.”

Mr Vidgen said a by-election for Barcoo Shire Council became necessary following the resignation of Councillor Ingrid Miller on 20 January, with three candidates nominating to contest the vacancy.

“Under the Local Government Act 2009councils may choose whether to conduct a by-election, or appoint a runner-up to a councillor’s position, should it become vacant within 12 months of a local government election.

“The Act also requires the vacancy be filled within two months of the position becoming vacant.

“Barcoo Shire Council resolved to request a by-election through full postal ballot for the region’s 207 electors, and this was approved by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government, the Honourable Dr Steven Miles.”

Mr Vidgen said the voting system for the Barcoo Shire Council by-election was first-past-the-post as determined in the Local Government Electoral Act for an undivided council. This means electors only needed to number one box on their ballot paper, as there was only one vacancy.

The results for the Barcoo Shire Council by-election are available on the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton Division 3 by-election declared: Grant Mathers successful candidate

Tuesday 16 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has declared Grant Mathers the successful candidate for the position of councillor for Division 3 in the Rockhampton Regional Council.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said Mr Mathers received approximately 46 per cent of the formal first preference vote, and while there are still around 200 outstanding postal votes, Mr Mathers’ lead of nearly 700 votes means the outcome is beyond doubt.

“It’s been a busy election 12 months and Rockhampton electors have been to the polls several times during that time.

“We had the local government elections in March, the State general election in October, followed by a by-election for Mayor following Margaret Strelow’s resignation, and most recently, a by-election for Division 3 when Tony Williams was elected Mayor.

“That’s a lot of democracy for one community in one year.

“Postal voters have been active participants ensuring their ballot papers have been returned to the ECQ promptly with 441 of a total 633 postal votes received by the ECQ prior to the deadline of Tuesday 23 March.

“This meant our counting teams could verify most of the postal votes before the deadline and undertake a provisional distribution of preferences.

“While there are still outstanding postal votes and the deadline is not for another week, the number of outstanding votes can’t change the result; the outcome is mathematically certain.

“The full distribution of preferences will be finalised following the deadline for receipt of postal votes on 23 March 2021.”

Mr Vidgen said the Local Government Act provides council with two options if a councillor vacancy occurs within 12 months of the Local Government elections.

“Council has the option of appointing a runner-up or asking the ECQ to conduct a by-election.

“As Mr Williams was elected unopposed in March 2020 to the role of Division 3 councillor, a by-election was required to elect his replacement.”

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election: voting closed, counting begins

Saturday 13 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) announced polls closed at 6pm for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election, with counting now underway.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the ECQ will conduct the preliminary unofficial count this evening including all the votes on hand.

“This incorporates early votes, postal votes received to date, and election day votes.

“The results of this first, unofficial count will be uploaded to the ECQ website as soon as they have been verified.”

Mr Vidgen said the official count begins on Sunday when all votes are recounted.

“The official count involves recounting votes already counted on election night. Postal votes received before 5:00pm on Tuesday 23 March will be progressively included in official counts.

“As is usual practice, candidates’ registered scrutineers can attend the count both on election night and in the days following.

“Of course, all COVID-safe practices will need to be adhered to, including staying 1.5 metres apart and using hand sanitiser.”

Mr Vidgen said a declaration of the successful candidate can only be made when the outcome is mathematically certain. This may require a distribution of electors’ preferences, which is a progressive exclusion of candidates in accordance with preferences marked on ballot papers.

An explanation of the counting process for optional preferential voting is available on the ECQ’s website.

All election information including the election results is on the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election: election day tomorrow

Friday 12 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said early voting for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election concludes at 6pm today with election day voting between 8am and 6pm tomorrow, Saturday 13 March.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said there has already been a solid turnout with around 2,000 of Division 3’s around 7,600 electors choosing to vote early.

“Early voting is growing trend nationally with concerns over COVID-19 in the past year amplifying this already popular choice for electors.

“Those roughly 5,000 electors who haven’t applied for a postal vote or who aren’t voting early, need to cast their vote tomorrow at either the Berserker Street State School or Lakes Creek State School.”

Mr Vidgen said electors should bring their Voter Information Card with them if possible.

“All 7,600 Division 3 electors have been mailed a Voter Information Card or VIC, and around 2,600 electors who have provided their email address on the electoral roll, also received it electronically.

“The VIC shows electors’ voting options, includes an elector QR code that can be scanned at the polling booth to streamline voter mark-off, and acts as a handy reminder that voting is compulsory in the by-election.”

Mr Vidgen said the voting system for the Division 3 by-election is the same as the recent Mayoral by-election: optional preferential voting or OPV.

“OPV means electors can choose to number one, some, or all the boxes on their ballot paper in their order of preference to make their vote count.”

Mr Vidgen said postal voters must vote before 6pm on election day and should return their ballot materials as soon as possible.

“Rockhampton electors have had lots of election experience in the past year or so and they have been very prompt in returning their postal votes.

“This is very helpful when the count begins because most of the postal votes already on hand, and this can streamline the counting and declaration process.

“The deadline for the return of postal votes is Tuesday 23 March.”

Mr Vidgen said voting in person for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election includes COVID-safe measures: stay 1.5m apart, use hand sanitiser, and bring your own pen or pencil with you if you wish.

All election information is on the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

2020 State general election: ECQ’s non-voter response underway

Friday 12 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is commencing action against non-voters following the October 2020 State general election.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the non-voter compliance response reinforces voting is compulsory in Australia.

“Compliance with the Electoral Act is a serious matter and electors have a legal and civic responsibility to participate in our democracy and vote for their government representatives.

“However, the ECQ also recognises life can be unpredictable and complicated and electors may have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting.

“In recognition of this, the non-voter compliance program includes several steps ensuring electors have the opportunity to engage with the ECQ and disclose their reasons for not voting.

“The 132,000 first-time non-voters from the 2020 October State general election will not be contacted by the ECQ but should be aware that voting is compulsory, and they may be subject to future action for not voting in Queensland elections.

“Approximately 61,000 electors who are second time non-voters will receive a warning letter.

“Around 57,000 multiple non-voters who have not voted in three or more elections will receive an ‘apparent failure to vote notice’.”

Mr Vidgen said the ECQ’s current response to non-voters reflects the circumstances particular to 2020, which was a year of substantive challenges.

“The ECQ is pleased to have delivered both the March local government elections and the October State general election in line with the Chief Health Officer’s advice and without a spike in COVID-19.

“However, we recognise the challenges the presence of COVID-19 presented for many electors across Queensland and therefore are not sending first-time non-voters a warning letter.

Mr Vidgen said in line with standard practice, the ECQ has verified the State election non-voter data against the electoral roll, which is updated monthly by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), to remove deceased electors.

Mr Vidgen said that electors who receive a notice can provide a valid and sufficient excuse for not voting, or pay a fine of $66.50 before the deadline, which is half of the full penalty.  Otherwise, the full fine of one penalty unit, which is $133, will apply.”

Non-voter data – numbers are approximate

Type/Action

March 2020 local government elections

October 2020 State general election

First time non-voters – no action

274,000

132,000

Electors who didn’t vote in two elections – warning letter

30,000

61,000

Multiple non- voters who have not voted in three or more elections – ‘apparent failure to vote’ notice

26,000

57,000

Fine notifications issued

19,300

Yet to be determined

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rocky Division 3: early vote now or on Saturday 13 March

Monday 8 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said the second week of early voting for the Rockhampton Division 3 by-election will continue through until Friday 12 March, with election day voting on Saturday 13 March.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said over 1,000 of the 7,600 Division 3 electors have already chosen to vote early.

“Early voting is growing in popularity, and with lives becoming busier and busier it is a great way to cast your vote at a convenient day and time.

“Early voting for Division 3 electors is available at the James Lawrence Pavilion at the Rockhampton Show Grounds on New Exhibition Road this week from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 6pm on Friday.

“Election day voting is available at both the Lakes Creek and Berserker Street State Schools between 8am and 6pm on Saturday 13 March.”

Mr Vidgen said this councillor election is the fourth election in 12 months for Division 3 electors, and some things will be very familiar.

“When electors come to their voting venue, they’ll notice the ECQ’s COVID-safe provisions are the same as previous elections: stay 1.5 metres apart, use hand sanitiser and bring your own pen or pencil with you if you wish.

“The optional preferential voting system for the Division 3 election is also the same one as used for the recent mayoral election meaning electors can choose to number one, some, or all of the boxes on their ballot paper.

“Division 3 electors will also have a Voter Information Card (VIC) either emailed to them or received by post, which should be a familiar item from all four previous elections.

“Just as with previous elections, bringing your VIC when voting makes the roll mark-off just a bit quicker.

“What should also be familiar is that voting is compulsory in this election, as with all elections in Australia,” Mr Vidgen said.

All election information including candidate names, voting dates and times, is at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election: early voting underway

Monday 1 March 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said early voting for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 councillor by-election is now underway and continues every weekday through to Friday 12 March, with election day on Saturday 13 March.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said early voting is available at the James Lawrence Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on New Exhibition Road, and election day voting is at the Berserker Street State School and the Lakes Creek State School.

“Early voting is from 9am to 5pm weekdays from Monday 1 March to Thursday 11 March, with voting from 9am to 6pm on Friday 12 March.

“Election day voting is from 8am to 6pm on Saturday 13 March.

“The voting system is optional preferential, which means to make their vote count, electors can choose to number one, some, or all the five boxes on their ballot paper in their order of candidate preference.”

Mr Vidgen said Division 3 electors should look out for their Voter Information Card either in the mail or by email.

“All 7,600 Division 3 electors have been mailed a Voter Information Card or VIC, and around 2,600 electors who have provided their email address on the electoral roll, also received it electronically.

“The VIC shows electors’ voting options, includes an elector QR code that can be scanned at the polling booth to streamline voter mark-off, and acts as a handy reminder that voting is compulsory in the by-election.”

Mr Vidgen said postal vote applications close at 7pm today, Monday 1 March.

“Dispatch of postal vote ballot materials is already underway for those electors who have applied prior to tonight’s deadline.

“I encourage postal voters to read the voting instructions carefully, vote as soon as they receive their materials, and send it back to the ECQ straight away.

“The deadline for postal votes to be returned to the ECQ is Tuesday 23 March.”

Mr Vidgen said voting in person for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election includes COVID-safe measures: stay 1.5m apart, use hand sanitiser, and bring your own pen or pencil with you if you wish.

All election information is on the ECQ’s website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

February

Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election: Candidates announced

Monday 22 February 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said following the close of candidate nominations at noon today, the ballot paper order draw has been completed and the five candidates for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 by-election in ballot paper order are Deanna Beatson, Dave Bauer, Grant Mathers, Leyland Barnett, and Christian Shepherd.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the by-election was triggered by the recent election of Division 3 councillor Tony Williams to the role of Rockhampton’s Mayor.

“The Local Government Act requires councils to choose whether to conduct a by-election, or appoint a runner-up to a councillor’s position should it become vacant within 12 months of a local government election.

“However, as Tony Williams was elected unopposed in last year’s local government elections, a by-election for Division 3 is required, meaning around 7,600 electors are returning to the polls.

“Election day is Saturday 13 March, with early voting from Monday 1 March to Friday 12 March.

“I remind electors that voting is compulsory.”

Mr Vidgen said the voting system for the Division 3 by-election as determined in the Local Government Electoral Act is optional preferential voting.

“Optional preferential voting is the same system Rockhampton electors used in the recent mayoral election.

“To make their vote count, electors can choose to number one, some, or all of the boxes on their ballot paper.”

Mr Vidgen said electors interesting in applying for a postal vote can do so online at ecq.qld.gov.au prior to 7pm on Monday 1 March.

“For the Division 3 election, voters must have completed their vote by 6pm on election day at the latest and returned it in the Reply-Paid envelope by the deadline of Tuesday 23 March.

“My message to postal voters is not to wait, but to complete their vote and send it back to the ECQ as soon as they receive it.

“In recent elections Rockhampton postal voters have been very prompt in completing their ballot paper and returning it to the ECQ, and this has helped streamline the counting and declaration process,” he said.

Voting information including locations and times, is available at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Key election dates Rockhampton Division 3 councillor by-election

  • Notice of Election – Friday 12 February 2021
  • Candidate nominations open – Friday 12 February 2021
  • Close of electoral roll – Thursday 18 February 2021
  • Candidate nominations close – Monday 22 February 2021, 12.00pm
  • Ballot paper order draw – Monday 22 February 2021, 2.30pm
  • Postal vote applications close – Monday 1 March 2021, 7pm
  • Early voting - Monday 1 March to Friday 12 March 2021
  • Election day – Saturday 13 March 2021, 8am to 6pm
  • Deadline for the return of postal votes – Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Court makes procedural ruling in ECQ vs Palmer Leisure

16 February 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said the Supreme Court today made a procedural ruling about the application by the ECQ that sought clarification about whether a corporation, Palmer Leisure Australia Pty Ltd, was a property developer within the meaning of that term in the Electoral Act 1992.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the Court has made no ruling in regard to whether or not Palmer Leisure is a property developer. The Court did however provide some guidance around the legal issues raised by the ECQ’s application.

“There are particular features of the definition of property developer which, in the circumstances of Palmer Leisure and its activities to date, made it prudent to seek guidance from the Court as to whether the corporation was a property developer.

“The proceedings so far have provided some additional clarity around this definition as it relates to the Act.”

Mr Vidgen said he would carefully consider the judgment before taking any further steps.

The application for a declaration was lodged by the ECQ with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 2 December 2020.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton Division 3 councillor by-election Saturday 13 March: candidate nominations now open

Friday 12 February 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said candidate nominations are now open for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 Councillor position following the election of incumbent
Cr Tony Williams to the role of Mayor.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the Local Government Act requires councils to choose whether to conduct a by-election, or appoint a runner-up to a councillor’s position, should it become vacant within 12 months of a local government election. However, as Tony Williams was elected unopposed in last year’s local government elections, a by-election is required.

“Election day for the Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 councillor by-election is Saturday 13 March, with early voting from Monday 1 March to Friday 12 March.

“Nominations are now open, and anyone interested in becoming a candidate must complete their nomination by noon on Monday 22 February.

“Nomination forms and further information including a candidate handbook are available on the ECQ’s website.”

Mr Vidgen said it is important not to leave nominating until the last minute as there are some important requirements to meet.

“Candidates can live anywhere in the Rockhampton Regional Council local government area; however, an independent candidate must be nominated by at least six electors enrolled in
Division 3.

“A candidate endorsed by a registered political party must be nominated by the registered office of the party.

“There is also a deposit of $250 to be paid and all candidates are required to complete mandatory online training within the six months prior to nominating.”

Early voting runs from Monday 1 March to Friday 12 March, with election day voting between 8am and 6pm on Saturday, 13 March 2021.

Electors interesting in applying for a postal vote can do so online prior to 7pm on Monday 1 March. All voting must be completed by 6pm on election day with the deadline for the return of postal votes on Tuesday 23 March.

Voting information including locations and times, is available at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Key election dates Rockhampton Division 3 councillor by-election

  • Notice of Election – Friday 12 February 2021
  • Candidate nominations open – Friday 12 February 2021
  • Close of electoral roll – Thursday 18 February 2021
  • Candidate nominations close – Monday 22 February 2021, 12.00pm
  • Ballot paper order draw – Monday 22 February 2021, 2.30pm
  • Postal vote applications close – Monday 1 March 2021, 7pm
  • Early voting - Monday 1 March to Friday 12 March 2021
  • Election day – Saturday 13 March 2021, 8am to 6pm
  • Deadline for the return of postal votes – Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Nominations closed for Barcoo postal vote by-election: ballot paper order draw complete

Monday 8 February 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said candidate nominations closed at noon today and the ballot paper order draw has been completed with three candidates vying for the Barcoo Shire Council councillor role. The candidates in ballot paper order are Glen Arrold, Warren Hansen, and Tony Jackson.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said a by-election for Barcoo Shire Council became necessary following the resignation of Councillor Ingrid Miller on 20 January.

“Under the Local Government Act 2009, councils may choose whether to conduct a by-election, or appoint a runner-up to a councillor’s position, should it become vacant within 12 months of a local government election.

“The Act also requires the vacancy be filled within two months of the position becoming vacant.

“Barcoo Shire Council resolved to request a by-election through full postal ballot for the region’s 200 or so electors, and this has been approved by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government, the Honourable Dr Steven Miles.”

Mr Vidgen said the voting system for the Barcoo Shire Council by-election was first-past-the-post as determined in the Local Government Electoral Act for an undivided council.

“This means electors only needed to number one box on their ballot paper, as there is one councillor to be elected.”

As a full postal election, the ECQ will send postal votes to all enrolled electors in the Barcoo Shire Council area; electors do not need to apply.

The Barcoo by-election information page is on the ECQ website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Notice of election Friday 29 January 2021

  • Candidate nominations open - Friday 29 January 2021
  • Close of roll - Thursday 4 February 2021 at 5pm
  • Close of nominations - Monday 8 February 2021 at noon
  • Ballot paper order draw - Monday 8 February 2:30pm
  • Postal ballot printing - From Monday 8 February 2021
  • Postal votes dispatch - From Tuesday 9 February 2021

Election day Saturday 6 March 2021 – all voting must be completed by 6pm on election day

Last day for return of postal votes - Tuesday 16 March 2021 at 5pm

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Winton Shire councillor by-election declared: Frank Standfast successful candidate

Monday 8 February 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has declared the successful candidate for councillor in the Winton Shire Council by-election as Frank Standfast.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the by-election was triggered by the resignation of Councillor Sandy Gillies in December last year, and council resolving to have an attendance by-election to fill the vacancy.

“Four candidates nominated to contest the vacant councillor role: Lynda Alcorn, Teonie Stockham, Frank Standfast, and Kerry Turnbull.

“Frank Standfast received nearly 47 per cent per cent of the votes following the first official preference count, which places Mr Standfast as the elected candidate with a mathematically certain result.”

Mr Vidgen said the voting system for the Winton Shire Council by-election was first-past-the-post as determined in the Local Government Electoral Act for an undivided council.

“This means electors only needed to number one box on their ballot paper, as there is one councillor to be elected.

“Under the first-past-the-post system, only the first preference needed to be counted as there was only one position to fill, so the counting process was simplified and the ECQ was able to declare the result quickly.”

Mr Vidgen said early voting numbers were around 310, and election day saw 214 electors cast their vote.

A small number of the around 160 postal votes are still to be returned to the ECQ, however the receipt of these will not alter the election outcome.

All Winton Shire Council by-election information including the voting results can be viewed at ecq.qld.gov.au

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton mayoral by-election declared: Division 3 Councillor Tony Williams successful

Thursday 4 February 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has declared Councillor Tony Williams elected as Mayor of the Rockhampton Regional Council following the distribution of preferences.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said having 17 candidates meant majority percentages were small with the preference count key to the outcome.

“The unprecedented number of candidates combined with the optional preferential voting system, meant the counting process through to the distribution of preferences required time to determine mathematical certainty for all the candidates.

“With Councillor Tony Williams being the successful mayoral candidate, and as he was elected unopposed at the local government elections in March, there will be a by-election as required by legislation within the next two months to fill his councillor role.

“The election timetable for this Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 councillor by-election will be published on the ECQ’s website within the next week.”

Mr Vidgen said the prompt return of postal votes was very helpful to the counting process, with ECQ teams able to begin the distribution of preferences in a timely manner.

“Rockhampton’s around 6,400 postal voters took our messaging to heart and returned their completed voting materials without delay.

“This meant our counting teams could verify most of the postal votes before the deadline, and progress to the distribution of preferences more quickly after the deadline.

“Cr Williams received approximately 25 per cent of the formal first preference vote but 58 per cent of the votes remaining in the count after exclusions and the distribution of preferences from other candidates was completed.”

Mr Vidgen said the voter turnout for the Rockhampton Regional Council mayoral by-election was high for a local government by-election at more than 82 per cent.

The Rockhampton mayoral by-election was triggered by the resignation of Cr Margaret Strelow. Amendments to the Local Government Act passed by the Queensland Parliament require that a by-election must be held in the event of a Mayoral vacancy occurring within 12 months of a local government election.

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Townsville councillor by-election declared: Fran O’Callaghan successful

Wednesday 3 February 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has declared Fran O’Callaghan the successful candidate in the Townsville City Council Division 10 by-election, receiving more 42 per cent of the formal votes.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said Ms Callaghan was one of five candidates in the by-election and following deadline for the return of postal votes and the distribution of preferences, had a lead of around 1,000 votes over the next candidate Scott McElligott.

“More than 7,000 electors voted early or on election day with around 1,600 choosing to postal vote.

“Declaring an election always relies on the mathematical certainty of a single candidate receiving the majority of the votes.

“In this instance, that mathematical certainty included a distribution of preferences.”

Mr Vidgen said there has been a rise in the popularity of postal voting during COVID and the timing of the return of these votes can influence the timing of a declaration, especially when using preferential voting systems.

“Arriving at an outcome following the count was made easier because Townsville electors returned their postal votes to the ECQ in record time, with most received well before the deadline of Tuesday 2 February,” he said.

“This meant our counting teams could verify most of the postal votes before the deadline, and progress to the distribution of preferences quickly after the deadline.”

Approximately 70 per cent of Division 10 electors voted and this is in line with council by-election attendance outcomes. There was a low informality rate of around 2.4 per cent.

The Division 10 by-election was triggered when Councillor Les Walker was elected to the seat of Mundingburra at October’s State election, and the Townsville City Council resolved to have a by-election to select a new councillor.

The amendments to the Local Government Act require councils to choose whether to conduct a by-election, or appoint a runner-up to a councillor’s position, should it become vacant within 12 months of a local government election. It also requires the by-election to take place within two months of the vacancy occurring.

All election results and information can be found at ecq.qld.gov.au.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

January

Postal vote by-election for Barcoo councillor: candidate nominations open 29 January

Friday 29 January 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) announced today a full postal by-election will be held to elect a councillor for Barcoo Shire Council, with candidate nominations opening on Friday 29 January and closing at noon on Monday 8 February.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the by-election will be via postal vote and ballot materials will be dispatched to electors from Tuesday 9 February, with voting to be completed by 6pm on election day, Saturday 6 March 2021.

“The by-election for Barcoo Shire Council became necessary following the resignation of Councillor Ingrid Miller on 20 January.

“Under the Local Government Act 2009, councils may choose whether to conduct a by-election, or appoint a runner-up to a councillor’s position, should it become vacant within 12 months of a local government election.

“The Act also requires the vacancy to be filled within two months of the position becoming vacant.

“Barcoo Shire Council resolved to request a by-election through full postal ballot for the region’s 200 or so electors, and this has been approved by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government, the Hon Dr Steven Miles.”

Mr Vidgen said now is a great time for Barcoo Shire Council electors to check they are correctly enrolled.

“It is crucial Barcoo electors are correctly enrolled before the close of roll at 5pm on Thursday 4 February, so postal ballot materials are sent to the correct address.

“It easy to check your enrolment online at aec.gov.au with the process only taking a few minutes.”

Mr Vidgen said anyone interested in nominating for the position of councillor on the Barcoo Shire Council must do so between Friday 29 January and noon on Monday 8 February.

Candidate requirements for local government by-elections can be found on the ECQ’s website ecq.qld.gov.au and selecting the Election participants tab.

The Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning requires all candidates to complete online training, and this can be found at dlgrma.qld.gov.au/local-government/governance/training.

The Barcoo by-election information page is on the ECQ website at ecq.qld.gov.au.

Notice of electionFriday 29 January 2021
Candidate nominations openFriday 29 January 2021
Close of rollThursday 4 February 2021 at 5pm
Close of nominationsMonday 8 February 2021 at noon
Ballot paper order drawMonday 8 February 2:30pm
Postal ballot printing and dispatchFrom Monday 8 February 2021
Election day Saturday 6 March 2021all voting must be completed by 6pm on election day
Last day for return of postal votesTuesday 16 March 2021 at 5pm

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

By-elections’ polls closed: the count begins

Saturday 23 January 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) announced the close of polls at 6pm today for the Townsville Division 10 councillor and Rockhampton mayoral by-elections, with counting now underway.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the preliminary count on election night for both by-elections will include all votes on hand.

“This includes early votes, postal votes received to date, telephone votes and election day votes.

“The results of this first, unofficial count will be uploaded to the ECQ website as soon as they have been verified.”

Mr Vidgen said the official count begins on Sunday when all votes are recounted.

“The official count involves recounting votes already counted on election night, with a distribution of preferences following.

“As is usual practice candidates’ registered scrutineers can attend the count both on election night in the days following.

“Of course, all COVID-safe practices will need to be adhered to, including social distancing.”

Mr Vidgen said determining the outcome of the Rockhampton mayoral by-election may take some time with 17 candidates contesting the role.

“Some electors may have chosen to preference all 17 of the candidates on their ballot paper, meaning the count could take some time to finalise.

“A final declaration is only made when the outcome is mathematically certain and this may not be possible until after the deadline for the return of postal votes on Tuesday 2 February,” Mr Vidgen said.

For all by-election information, go to ecq.qld.gov.au.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Winton Shire Council: nominations close with four candidates vying for councillor role

18 January 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said nominations for the Winton Shire Council by-election have closed, the ballot paper order draw has been conducted, and the four candidates vying for the vacated councillor role are Lynda Alcorn, Teonie Stockham, Frank Standfast, and Kerry Turnbull.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the by-election was triggered by the December 2020 resignation of Councillor Sandy Gillies, and council resolving to have an attendance by-election to fill the role.

“Election day for Winton Shire Council electors is Saturday 6 February, with early voting from Monday 1 February to Friday 6 February.

“The voting system for the Winton Shire Council by-election as an undivided council and determined in the Local Government Electoral Act is first-past-the-post.

“This means electors must number at least one box on their ballot paper, as there is one councillor to be elected.

“Postal votes will be sent this week following today’s close of nominations and ballot paper order draw.

“I remind electors who are postal voting to complete their ballot paper as soon as they receive it and return it to the ECQ in the Reply-Paid envelope by the deadline of Tuesday 16 February,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said all in person voting will take place in the Supper Room of the Winton Shire Council building at 75 Vindex Street, Winton.

Early voting is from 9am to 5pm Monday 1 February to Friday 5 February, and election day voting is from 8am to 6pm on Saturday 6 February.

Information about the Winton Shire Council by-election is available at ecq.qld.gov.au.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton and Townsville by-elections: Early and postal voting underway

14 January 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said voters for Rockhampton and Townsville are embracing early and postal voting options for their respective council by-elections.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said more than 600 electors in Townsville Division 10 and around 6,000 Rockhampton Regional Council electors are recorded as having voted in the first few days of early voting.

“Early voting is a growing trend in elections and even in regional by-elections, voters are choosing an option that best suits their needs.

“Around 1,600 or 12 per cent of 12,500 electors in Townsville’s Division 10 by-election have chosen to postal vote, as have more than 6,400 or 11 per cent of 55,800 Rockhampton’s electors.

“Postal votes for both by-elections were dispatched by Australia Post progressively with the final dispatch on 13 January.

“Postal votes must be completed before 6pm on election day Saturday 23 January and be returned to the ECQ by the deadline of Tuesday 2 February.

“We’re asking postal voters to return their ballot papers as soon as completed, and to follow the instructions making sure they sign and have a witness sign as well.”

Mr Vidgen said following the close of polls at 6pm on election night, all votes on hand will be counted.

“The ECQ will undertake a preliminary count of all available early, postal, telephone and election day votes on election night, with the official count beginning on the following day, Sunday.

“With 17 candidates vying to be mayor of Rockhampton and five for Division 10 in Townsville, it’s possible results may not be determined in the initial period of counting and preference distribution.

“However, results will be regularly updated on the ECQ’s website as they are verified by Returning Officers in each jurisdiction, and declarations will be made when outcomes are mathematically certain.

“We ask electors for their patience while the ECQ completes this important democratic process.”

The election results webpage will go live just prior to the close of polling on election day, Saturday 23 January.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699