28 February, 2024

Divisions are locked in

Elections in Moreton Bay will look a little different this year, with nearly 140,000 electors not required to vote, due to five divisional areas having unopposed candidates: Brooke Savige (Div 1), Jodie Shipway (Div 4), Yvonne Barlow (Div 7), Cath Tonks (Div 9) and Darren Grimwade (Div 11). Mayor Peter Flannery also holds his position unopposed, following the close of nominations on February 13.

Divisions are locked in - feature photo

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the situation has created a number of flow-on effects for the City of Moreton Bay, which is Queensland’s third largest council.

“Firstly, we won’t need to open polling booths in those five divisional areas, so have made the decision to close 25 booths that would have catered to electors in those divisions, along with one early voting centre at Bongaree,” Mr Vidgen said.

“Unfortunately, it also means that we don’t require as many temporary election staff and have had to undertake the difficult task of informing around 148 people, who had been already hired for the event, about this.

“Over the next week or so we will be looking at how we can re-deploy those staff in other areas.”

Although the electors in these five divisions make up 40.5% of the total number of electors in Moreton Bay, Mr Vidgen emphasised the importance of residents in other divisions to keep themselves informed, as they are still required by law to vote for their councillors.

“Our priority at the moment is making sure electors in Moreton Bay understand the situation ahead of the voting period, kicking off on March 4.

“It’s important for those electors in the remaining divisions of Moreton Bay City Council to be aware that they still need to vote for their councillor, and that voting is compulsory in local government elections.

“If electors don’t know which divisional area they are in, now’s the time for them to head to our website to look this up, so they know whether they need to vote in these elections.”

State-wide, 15 mayoral positions and 46 councillor positions were uncontested, with the Moreton Bay City Council being the most populous locality impacted.

The ECQ will undertake a range of awareness activities in the lead-up to election day to communicate information to electors about the changes, including via the website and through email, SMS, local advertising and engagement activities.

Election day is March 16.


Most Popular