Rockhampton’s new mayor declared
The Electoral Commission of Queensland declared Councillor Tony Williams the mayor of Rockhampton Regional Council.
Commissioner Pat Vidgen said having 17 candidates meant majority percentages were small with the preference count key to the outcome.
“The unprecedented number of candidates combined with the optional preferential voting system, meant the counting process through to the distribution of preferences required time to determine mathematical certainty for all the candidates,” he said.
“With Cr Tony Williams being the successful mayoral candidate, and as he was elected unopposed at the local government elections in March, there will be a by-election as required by legislation within the next two months to fill his councillor role.
“The election timetable for this Rockhampton Regional Council Division 3 councillor by-election will be published on the ECQ’s website within the next week.”
Mr Vidgen said the prompt return of postal votes was very helpful to the counting process, with ECQ teams able to begin the distribution of preferences in a timely manner.
“Rockhampton’s around 6,400 postal voters took our messaging to heart and returned their completed voting materials without delay,” he said.
“This meant our counting teams could verify most of the postal votes before the deadline, and progress to the distribution of preferences more quickly after the deadline.
“Cr Williams received approximately 25 per cent of the formal first preference vote but 58 per cent of the votes remaining in the count after exclusions and the distribution of preferences from other candidates was completed.”
Mr Vidgen said the voter turnout for the Rockhampton Regional Council mayoral by-election was high for a local government by-election at more than 82 per cent.
The Rockhampton mayoral by-election was triggered by the resignation of Margaret Strelow.
Amendments to the Local Government Act passed by the Queensland Parliament required that a by-election be held in the event of m Mayoral vacancy occurring within 12 months of a local government election.
The Morning Bulletin has reached out to Cr Williams for comment.