POSITION VACANT: Outgoing councillor David Batt votes at Bundaberg East State School on Saturday.
POSITION VACANT: Outgoing councillor David Batt votes at Bundaberg East State School on Saturday. Mike Knott BUN251117ELECTION4

Division 8 voters heading back to the polls

DIVISION 8 constituents will head to the polls again within 12 weeks to elect a new council representative to fill the position that looks certain to be vacated by David Batt.

Following his still-to-be-declared but expected win in the weekend's state election, Mr Batt won't return to his position with Bundaberg Regional Council after taking a leave of absence to campaign in the lead up to Saturday.

"I have been on leave without pay for the four weeks of the campaign and that will stay as that until the election is called,” he said.

"If I am successful, council will go through a process for a by-election in Division 8 and they will do that as per the rules under the local government act.”

According to the Queensland Local Government Electoral Act a by-election to fill a vacancy in the office of a councillor would be held on a day determined by the returning officer "within 12 weeks after the vacancy happens”.

As soon as practicable after fixing the day for holding a by-election, details of the date the cut off for voters to enrol will be published.

Prospective candidates will also be given notice about the the cut off date by which they need to lodge their intent to run.

DIVISION 8: The Bundaberg Regional Council division covers Avoca, Branyan and Millbank.
DIVISION 8: The Bundaberg Regional Council division covers Avoca, Branyan and Millbank. Contributed

The exercise won't be cheap though, with the council to foot the bill for the Electoral Commission Queensland's costs to run the by-election.

The cost depends on a number of factors but an ECQ spokesperson said from past elections it's estimated to be $10-$12 per voter.

With 6593 registered voters in Division 8, the cost could be somewhere between $65,000 and $80,000.

Mr Batt, who was first elected to the council in 2008, won the 2016 election with 68% of the vote after running against Tracey Jackson.

Assigned the sport, recreation and venues portfolio, he was also the Deputy Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group.

A council spokeswoman confirmed another councillor would be appointed to fill the LDMG role.

"Council will determine a permanent replacement after the by-election and the vacancy is filled,” she said.



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