FULL DETAILS: Voting day confirmed for Rocky by-election

THE starter's gun has gone off in Rockhampton region's mayoral election campaign with the Electoral Commission of Queensland naming Saturday, January 23 as the date for the by-election.

In a statement released on Friday morning, the ECQ said the deadline for candidate nominations was December 21.

Early voting and postal voting open from January 11, 2021.

In preparation for the election announcement, a number of mayoral candidates have come forward to nominate themselves including Nyree Johnson, Cr Donna Kirkland, Dominic Doblo, Cr Tony Williams, Chris "Pineapple" Hooper and Chris Davies.

Acting mayor Neil Fisher and former One Nation candidate Torin O'Brien have both ruled themselves out.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the by-election was triggered by the resignation of Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow.

Queensland Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen, right, visiting a polling booth during a previous election.
Queensland Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen, right, visiting a polling booth during a previous election.

"Amendments to the Local Government Act 2009 passed by the Queensland Parliament on

Wednesday 2 December include two key changes important to the current vacancies," Mr Vidgen said.

"Firstly, in the event of a Mayoral vacancy, the Act states a by-election must be held if the position becomes vacant within 12 months of a local government election.

"Secondly, the Act provides for councils to resolve whether to conduct a by-election or appoint a runner-up if a councillor's position becomes vacant within the same period."

READ MORE:

>> Donna reveals thoughts on running for mayoral vacancy

>> Businesswoman enters Rocky mayoral race

>> Longtime key Rocky figure to run for mayor

Mr Vidgen said for the by-election, the Act required a vacancy to be filled within two months of the commencement of the legislation, which was on Friday, December 4.

"The ECQ has carefully considered the date of the by-elections given the closeness to the festive and holiday season, allowing for lead-in time, staffing provisions, and the requirement to provide 10 days following election day for the return of postal votes so that the requirements of the Act can be met," he said.

"After weighing all these issues carefully, the ECQ has decided on Saturday 23 January for election day for both councils with early voting beginning 10 voting days prior, from Monday 11 January."

Mr Vidgen said now was an ideal time for Rockhampton's electors to check they were

correctly enrolled.

"The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to enrol, update, or check your enrolment by going to aec.gov.au," he said.



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