News

Thousands fail to make votes count

Candice Levey casts her vote at Woongarra State School. Thousands in Bundaberg didn’t even turn up.
Candice Levey casts her vote at Woongarra State School. Thousands in Bundaberg didn’t even turn up. Scottie Simmonds BUNELE

THE Electoral Commission of Queensland has come under heavy fire for its running of the local elections, with figures suggesting up to a third of Bundaberg electors did not vote on Saturday.

With the majority of the votes counted by yesterday afternoon, so far just 43,996 people of 62,291 on the electoral roll have had their say - leaving a staggering 18,295 votes unaccounted for.

While exact numbers will not be confirmed until the May 8 deadline for postal votes, historically these only make up a small percentage and are unlikely to have a significant impact on the final number.

Outgoing mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the commission's running of the election left a lot to be desired.

"Prior to 2008, council ran their own elections much more efficiently and cost effectively," she said.

"This election will cost the region $460,000."

Ms Pyefinch said the commission "did a terrible job" of the elections in 2008 and had failed to improve.

"They have let the candidates and the voting public down," she said.

Local Government Association of Queensland spokesman Craig Johnstone said initial indications showed voting turnouts were low statewide.

Mr Johnstone blamed a lack of information from the commission and the state election for causing voter confusion.

"The election itself was not promoted well by the ECQ," he said.

"Voters in divisions where councillors returned unopposed were still obligated to vote for the mayoral candidate and the ECQ did not sufficiently explain this.

"In the lead-up, the public witnessed a very negative and bitter state campaign and the last thing they were ready for was another political campaign."

Leading mayoral candidates Mal Forman and Bill Trevor were largely unfazed by the low turnout.

"While it is compulsory to vote, we know from history people don't always do so," Mr Forman said. "The numbers are all relative."

Mr Trevor said it would be impossible to tell if the low turnout would have an impact on the result. The commission would not comment.

The rules

  • In Queensland it is compulsory to vote in local government elections
  • The fine from the ECQ is $100 with the amount reduced to $50 for prompt payment

Topics:  electoral commission of queensland electorate voters voting



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

150 residents meet to fight for their dump

FIGHT BACK: Residents met with council representatives over fears the Avondale Waste Facility would close.

Councillor promises to fight tooth and nail

Bundy's little brave heart after third operation

BRAVE HEART: Bundaberg's little Noah Lammi has undergone his third open heart surgery. He is now recovering in Lady Cilento Hospital Brisbane.

Another open heart surgery for Bundaberg youngster

WATCH: Fire close to homes, firefighters work to control it

Emergency crews work to control Burnett Heads fire

Residents are urged to keep there windows shut as smoke fills air

Local Partners

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

WHEN acting royalty comes to town to direct the theatre performance of the year, you sit up and take notice.

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!