CQ in frustrating limbo awaiting election declarations
THE woes created by the unprecedented COVID-19 disruption to this year’s Local Government Election are continuing with clear-cut election results around CQ remaining stubbornly undeclared by the Electoral Commission of Queensland.
Set to be returned by a landslide of 14,789 votes ahead of her challenger with three quarters of votes counted, Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow has articulated her frustration with ECQ’s failure to officially name obvious winners.
“The maths is really simple. As the Premier said, ‘they had one job’,” Cr Strelow said.
“The normal process after an election is that once it is clear that there is a winning candidate
then that candidate is announced as having been elected.
“My understanding is that for both myself and all councillors the numbers are already known.”
The veteran of multiple election campaigns said under normal circumstances they would have already been declared elected and until that declaration took place, council couldn’t meet.
“It seems as though the Brisbane based ECQ have decided that they will wait until all postal votes are in this time,” she said.
“Even though there aren’t enough outstanding postal votes to make a difference to the result.
“I find it funny that the website is saying that they have counted 73.73 per cent of eligible voters but only 68.53 per cent of the preferences.
“Given that it was a two horse race I wonder how they think they can count preferences.”
According to her scrutineers, there were only a few thousand postal votes yet to come in.
Cr Strelow said things would remain on hold until the ECQ decided to declare the new Rockhampton Regional Council elected.
“Until that declaration the former council is still in force so I am acting as Mayor on the basis that I was elected in 2016,” she said.
“That means that Bill Ludwig is still Mayor of Livingstone Shire too.”
Soon to be confirmed councillor for Division 7 Donna Kirkland said she was still waiting for a call from the ECQ to confirm her victory.
Once this was done, Ms Kirkland revealed she would be sworn in as a councillor over the phone by RRC Chief Executive Evan Pardon.
In a statement, an ECQ spokesperson said they would not declare results in individual elections until the formal count showed that it was mathematically impossible for any other candidate to be successful.
“Once the preliminary count is conducted, each vote is counted again in the formal count. The ECQ will declare successful candidates progressively once the formal count indicates that no other candidate can be successful,” the spokesperson said.
“The finalisation of results and declarations of elections for all councils generally takes more than two weeks from the election date.
“This may be some time after candidates themselves declare or concede, particularly where the count is close.”
In close contests, Returning Officers may need to wait for the receipt of postal votes, which can be returned to the ECQ by 5pm, April 7.
“Elections rely on checks and balances to ensure that the result is accurate. Those check and balances, which can take a bit of time, apply even in cases where the result appears clear cut,” they said.
The ECQ said elected mayors or councillors could not take up their positions until the results of the elections for both mayor and councillors in each local government area were formally declared by them.
“Until that happens, councils remain in caretaker mode,” they said.
“Mayoral declarations may be made separately to councillor declarations for all councils, depending on the timing of results.”
The return and scrutiny of the about 570,000 postal votes from the local government elections was ongoing.
To date, almost 314,000 postal votes have been returned, scrutinised and either admitted to or rejected from the count.
The deadline for return of postal votes is Tuesday, 7 April 2020.
Latest local government election results around Central Queensland
Rockhampton Region Mayor
HOOPER, Chris - 11943 - 30.88 per cent
STRELOW, Margaret - 26732 - 69.12 per cent
73.73 per cent counted
Division 1 Councillor
LATCHAM, Shane - 2490 - 49.27 per cent
ROBERTSON, Vince - 1106 - 21.88 per cent
ASHTON, Sherrie - 1458 - 28.85 per cent
73.03 per cent counted
Division 2 Councillor
FISHER, Neil - 3586 - 61.47 per cent
SHUKER, Gavin - 2248 - 38.53 per cent
78.5 per cent counted
Division 5 Councillor
RUTHERFORD, Cherie - 3949 - 60.97 per cent
ANDERSON, Peter - 2528 - 39.03 per cent
79.24 per cent counted
Division 7 Councillor
HORAN, Noeleen - 1835 - 34.51 per cent
KIRKLAND, Donna - 3483 - 65.49 per cent
76.65 per cent counted
Livingstone Shire Mayor
IRELAND, Andy - 9251 - 46.32 per cent
LUDWIG, Bill - 8229 - 41.20 per cent
BURNS, Lynelle - 2492 - 12.48 per cent
77.78 per cent counted
Livingstone Shire Division 1 Councillor
GRICE, Leah - 8923 - 7.73 per cent
TARRATT, Scott Edward - 4950 - 4.29 per cent
KEANALLEY, Athol - 2698 - 2.34 per cent
LYNCH, Tanya Elizabeth - 9393 - 8.14 per cent
PEACH, Mathew - 5058 - 4.38 per cent
WATSON, Rhodes Jason - 9349 - 8.10 per cent
HUTTON, Nigel - 10590 - 9.17 per cent
MATHER, Glenda - 12007 - 10.4 per cent
HONEK, Leo - 5526 - 4.79 per cent
EASTWOOD, Pat - 12485 - 10.81 per cent
BIRD, Stephen - 7170 - 6.21 per cent
FRIEND, Andrea - 9811 - 8.5 per cent
DECMAN, Mike - 2414 - 2.09 per cent
BELOT, Adam - 11562 - 10.01 per cent
SULLY, Keith - 3517 - 3.05 per cent
73.65 per cent counted
Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Mayor
MURGHA, Leslie Vivian - 50 - 20.75 per cent
TOBANE, Roderick - 23 - 9.54 per cent
WEAZEL, Josh - 107 - 44.40 per cent
WILLIAMS, Adrian - 27 - 11.20 per cent
MAJOR, Kylie - 34 - 14.11 per cent
74.62 per cent counted
Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Division 1 Councillor
SIGAI, Diane - 28 - 2.58 per cent
WILLIAMS, Archie - 76 - 7.00 per cent
DOAK, Shawn - 30 - 2.76 per cent
CAMERON, Joel - 131 - 12.07 per cent
WEAZEL, Laurence - 111 - 10.23 per cent
DOYLE, Gerald K - 189 - 17.42 per cent
SAVAGE, Wagwan - 111 - 10.23 per cent
WALKER, Dellas - 147 - 13.55 per cent
GHILOTTI, Vincent - 111 - 10.23 per cent
LAWTON, Milton - 76 - 7.00 per cent
HILL, Cindy - 75 - 6.91 per cent
83.33 per cent counted
Banana Shire Division 1 Councillor
WILLIAMS, Jason Patrick - 514 - 50.15 per cent
RAMSEY, John - 511 - 49.85 per cent
63.81 per cent counted
Banana Shire Division 2 Councillor
NEVELL, Colin James - 514 - 41.12 per cent
PENDER, Judith Fay - 736 - 58.88 per cent
69.8 per cent
Central Highlands Regional Division 1 Councillor
DANIELS, Megan - 7880 - 10.61 per cent
BURKE, Kevin - 4300 - 5.79 per cent
BURNS, Joseph - 6171 - 8.31%
FRAWLEY, Bernardine - 4789 - 6.45 per cent
ROLFE, Christine - 6949 - 9.35 per cent
SYPHER, Gai - 5875 - 8.39 per cent
DEIN, Geoff - 4037 - 5.77%
WATKINS, John - 4787 - 6.84 per cent
MORIARTY, Janice - 5880 - 8.40 per cent
MCINDOE, Alan - 5138 - 7.34 per cent
BRIMBLECOMBE, Charlie - 5262 -7.52 per cent
CURTIS, Natalie (Nat) - 5528 - 7.90 per cent
CARPENTER, Anne - 5021 - 7.17 per cent
52.64 per cent counted