Election officials on Monday completed the ballot draw for Rockhampton’s Division 3 by-election.
Election officials on Monday completed the ballot draw for Rockhampton’s Division 3 by-election.

Candidates named: Ballot drawn for division 3 by-election

The Electoral Commission of Queensland drew the ballot papers for Rockhampton’s division 3 by-election on Monday afternoon.

Deanna Beatson will top the list, followed by Dave Bauer, Grant Mathers, Leyland Barnett, and Christian Shepherd.

Present at the Rockhampton Showgrounds for the draw were Ms Beatson with her daughters, as well as Mr Mathers, and Mr Barnett.

Mr Mathers, the brother of councillor Cherie Rutherford, said he had spent his whole life in division 3 and would listen to the concerns of its constituents.

But he began by speaking about road safety, crime, and the cost of living in Rockhampton.

“Cost of living is something that’s very important to me as well as a single dad with two lads still at home with me,” he said.

“I know first-hand how hard it can be to make ends meet, so I’m definitely committed to trying to keep rates from rising if at all possible.”

Asked whether his relationship to Cr Rutherford would cause his campaign difficulties, Mr Mathers joked he was more worried about “getting in”.

“I wouldn’t think it would make too much difference to anyone,” he said.

“I have three sisters … At the end of the day, they are three great women who are very professional in the careers that they’ve chosen, and I don’t think that would affect any of the constituents’ concerns at all.

“I have experience with campaigning because as a family we’re tight-knit and we all help each other out and that’s what I think all families do.”

Grant Mathers.
Grant Mathers.

He said he had spoken with mayor Tony Williams, but would not seek his official endorsement.

“I know how to do the hard work,” Mr Mathers said.

“We’ve done 4000 letterbox drops on the weekend, still got another 1500 to do. I’ve got 80 signs out and about throughout the whole division.

“I’m going straight from here this afternoon and putting on some more casual clothes and start door knocking.”

Mr Barnett, who has lived in division 3 for 28 years, said he wanted to scrap the South Rockhampton Flood Levee, promote road safety, and keep rates at a “reasonable level”.

“We’ve got to take into account that we’ve got pensioners out here and it’s 41C heat,” he said.

“They can’t afford the power to flick their airconditioners on.

“So it’s not just developers and business we’ve got to look after.

“It’s not just a matter of saying, ‘Yes, I’m going to do this and do that’: we’re going to say, ‘Well, how am I going to achieve this, how am I going to do that?’ and it’s spelling it all out so people can see that it’s achievable and going in that direction.”

Mr Barnett got 1.28 per cent of the vote in Rockhampton’s recent mayoral by-election.

He said he was pleased that this time there were fewer candidates and the air seemed relatively free of political controversy.

“One of the biggest things that people were bringing up to me is the fact you need experience and they said they’d rather see me in a councillor position and taking on that role,” Mr Barnett said.

“You’ve got to accept what those people have been talking to me about and telling me.”

An ECQ official at the draw asked that candidates “please be kind to each other” on social media.

“It’s a reflection of the individual,” she said.

Voting in the election is compulsory for division 3 residents and will be based on optional preferential voting, the same as the mayoral by-election.

Postal votes will begin to be sent out today.

There will be one early voting centre – the James Lawrence Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds – and two election day polling places open – Lakes Creek State School and Berserker Street State School.

Key dates

Notice of election – February 12

Candidate nominations open – February 12

Close of electoral roll – February 18

Candidate nominations close – February 22

Ballot paper order draw – February 22

Postal vote applications close – 7pm, March 1

Early voting – March 1 to March 12

Election day – 8am to 6pm, March 13

Deadline for the return of postal votes – March 23

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