$110,000 saved on council poll

This year's election is getting closer with candidates campaigning for our votes.
This year's election is getting closer with candidates campaigning for our votes. Cathy Adams

THE battle over who should run the local council elections continued to rage yesterday as the Electoral Commission claimed it had delivered the 2012 poll "significantly" cheaper than could have been achieved by the local authority.

In its 2012 Local Government Elections Report, it was stated that:

 Delivering the poll through the Electoral Commission saved local council about $110,000

 Voter turnout was good - around 82%

 97% of voters found the ballot papers easy to understand

 Around 95% of voters were happy with the standard and location of the facility

But Bundaberg mayor Mal Forman, who has long said he wants the council to run its own election is standing firm.

"I believe the Electoral Commission did a good job," he said, adding that he was happy with the financial savings.

Cr Forman said the commission gave the council an estimate of $454,833 for the cost of the election. But he said the actual cost was only $344,496, a saving of $110,337.

However, he continued to maintain the council could have done a better job.

"I'm happy with the saving but I'm still of the opinion that if the election was held by the local government we may have had more savings," he said.

Cr Forman said the election could have been conducted more efficiently had it been locally run, especially in terms of resourcing.

He said the lack of staff led to a drawn-out election, with the result taking almost two weeks to deliver.

"More staff was needed to get the counting done more quickly," he said.

The Electoral Commission organised booths and ballot papers well, he conceded.

"They provided 51 booths," he said. "And the ballot papers were quite easy to understand."

He would have loved to have seen a larger voter turnout but believed people were fatigued with the state and local elections being held so close together.

Topics:  council election

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