The 2020 Local Government Quadrennial Election will be held on Saturday 28 March 2020. The Queensland Government’s recent reforms amending the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 means changes to local government elections that affect a range of participants, particularly candidates, registered political parties, third-party campaigners and political donors.
All candidates, including existing Councillors, are required to completed mandatory training prior to lodging their nomination with the Electoral Commission Queensland, which is available online here.
The changes are outlined here, along with other important points to remember when participating in an election. It is the responsibility of all electoral participants to be aware of their legal obligations and comply with them.
Please note, the laws apply to announced candidates, whether they officially nominate for election or not, and whether they are successfully elected or not.
Have you registered to vote?
To check your enrolment, enrol to vote or update your details please visit the Australian Electoral Commission website.
Prior to an election, Councillors and Council officers enter into a caretaker period, avoiding actions and decision making which could be perceived as influencing voters or having a significant impact on the incoming Council. During this period, Councillors and Council officers must ensure that the ordinary business of Council continues in a responsible, transparent and legally compliant manner.
To view Council’s Caretaker Period Policy, please click here.
Whitsunday Regional Council’s Guidelines for Political Advertisements provides rules and regulations to ensure election signage is exhibited in a manner that does not adversely impact on local amenity or cause a risk to public safety.
These Guidelines are legislated under Whitsunday Regional Council Subordinate Local Law No. 1 (Administration) 2014.
Removal without notice of election signage occurs if:
(a) a Political Advertisement is exhibited in contravention of the local law or a condition imposed under the local law and therefore are, in the opinion of an authorised person, adequate reasons for removing the advertisement immediately; or
(b) a Political Advertisement creates in the opinion of an authorised person, a risk to life or property; the local government may remove and dispose of the advertisement.
An authorised person acting on the local government’s instructions may carry out confiscation, demolition or other work that may be necessary to remove the advertisement.
Early voting will be conducted between Monday 16 March and Friday 27 March 2020. To find your nearest early voting centre and to check voting times, search for your address on ECQ's website here. Or alternatively, please refer to ECQ's list of early voting centres.
Election day is on Saturday 28 March 2020 and polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm. To find your nearest polling booth, search for your address on ECQ's website here. Or alternatively, please refer to ECQ's list of polling booths.
Changes to Divisional Boundaries
Did you know that the Electoral Commission of Queensland has implemented new Divisional Boundaries in the Whitsunday Region?
As the Whitsunday Region’s population grows and shifts the number of voters in each local government area changes. In the lead up to a Local Government Election, boundaries are reassessed by the Local Government Change Commission as requested by the Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, The Honourable Stirling Hinchcliffe MP.
The Local Government Change Commission is an independent body that is responsible for periodically reviewing the internal boundaries of councils so that each division has relatively the same number of enrolled voters. This upholds the key democratic principle of ‘one vote, one value’, by ensuring each person’s vote carries the same weight.
In 2019 the Change Commission finalised its review of the Whitsunday Regional Council’s divisional boundaries on Friday 1 November 2019 after extensive community consultation. During this process community interests, public submissions and easy-to-identify boundaries were considered. The final determination report can be viewed on ECQ’s website here.
These approved changes will come into effect for the 2020 Local Government Quadrennial Election on Saturday 28 March 2020.
If you are unsure which division you are in, please visit the Electoral Commission’s website and check by entering your address in the interactive map.