Queensland sets new date for local government elections
Queensland's local government elections will be held on April 28. Local Government Minister Paul Lucas said the date had been set after consultation with the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).
Mr Lucas said both the state government and the LGAQ were keen to have the earliest possible date that did not clash with the state elections or with school holidays.
"On the other hand, we were both aware of the need to ensure that an extension to the election date allows sufficient flexibility for councils in framing their budgets," he said.
Minister Lucas said the new date was a 28-day extension on the previous date and was a date requested by the LGAQ.
"The government has agreed with the LGAQ that we will extend the deadline for the adoption of budgets from September 1, as is currently the case, by an additional 28 days to September 29.
"The Electoral Commission Queensland has been consulted in relation to the machinery aspects of the later date and has advised that it can accommodate the new date within its administrative processes.
"Essentially the ECQ will add 28 days onto existing time frames so as to minimise any inconvenience.
"This means that the official calling of nominations for the council elections will take place on March 10 with councils to go into caretaker period on the same day.
"This new date allows for five weeks between the State and Local Government elections.
"I apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused but five weeks between elections is a period of time that I think most people would agree is appropriate."
Mr Lucas said it was important to remember that electoral rolls for Local Government Elections would still close on January 31.
“If you’ve moved house or will be 18 by April 28, it’s important to ensure you are on the rolls so you are eligible to exercise your democratic right to vote,” he said.
“Also, with council elections, you are only able to vote on the day if you are in your Local Government Area.
“However, if you are away, you need to organise in advance for a postal or pre-poll vote.
“Thirty Local Governments have also been approved for full postal ballots for these elections.
“This means voters can expect to see ballots in their letter boxes well before the elections.”