Four new mayors after de-amalgamated regions vote
QUEENSLAND will soon have four new Mayors to represent areas of the state which fought to be recognised with their own council after the local government amalgamations in 2008.
Residents of the new councils at Noosa, Mareeba, Livingstone (Capricorn Coast area) and Douglas (Port Douglas area), went to the polls on Saturday.
Each of these areas fought for five years for a return to their own district councils, after the former local councils were removed to make way for larger regional councils during the 2008 amalgamations.
While the final results have not yet been confirmed, the latest figures from the Electoral Commission of Queensland named four front-runners for the new mayoral positions.
Those with a strong lead over opposing candidates as at Sunday afternoon were Bill Ludwig for Livingstone; Julia Leu for Douglas, Noel Playford for Noosa, and Tom Gilmore for Mareeba.
About 80% of all votes had been counted on Sunday, with a strong contingent from postal and early voters.
Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said the fact more than 40% of all votes counted were from pre-poll voters showed "a passion for grassroots democracy and their communities".
President of the Local Government Association of Queensland Margaret De Wit said there was a long road ahead for the new councils to prepare for the official January 1 start date.
She said most of the leading candidates were also "highly experienced" in previous local councils, which would serve them well in the task ahead.
Cnr De Wit said the new councils would have the option of joining the state peak body, welcoming them to seek advice from the LGAQ on any issues during the transition.Mayor frontrunners (at about 80% of vote counted):
Livingstone: Bill Ludwig
Noosa: Noel Playford
Mareeba: Tom Gilmore
Douglas: Julia Leu