Games begin before election

WITH the local council election less than three months away, Southern Downs voters still only have a small pool of confirmed candidates to choose from - but the controversy has already started.

Rumours have been swelling of a complaint against a potential council candidate being put in to the electoral commission.

A Queensland Electoral Commission spokesman told the Daily News there was a policy of not commenting on individual candidates and complaints were not considered prior to nominations formally opening.

"Since nominations have not yet opened, any rules relating to election publications do not apply yet," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said exact dates for the election and when nominations closed had not been released yet.

"The cut-off date to nominate for local government elections has not yet been set but the nomination period is likely to be around mid-February 2012," he said.

"A nomination fee of $250 is payable to the returning officer by cash or bank cheque when nominating."

The most recent person to confirm he would have a tilt for a position as councillor was Warwick's Glenn Henry.

Stanthorpe's Mary Rofe has also announced she will run.

Councillors Vic Pennisi, Neil Meiklejohn and Ross Bartley have confirmed they'll run again.

With Mayor Ron Bellingham hanging up his hat, Deputy Mayor Peter Blundell and Warwick's Kim Olsen have confirmed they'll be in the running for top job.

The Queensland Electoral Commission website advises the next local government elections are due to be held in March next year.

 

Local government elections are conducted on a similar basis to State elections, with guidelines including:

  • Voting is compulsory.
  • Voting registration closes January 31.
  • Registered political parties may nominate candidates and have the party name on the ballot paper.
  • Electors enrolled for federal and state elections are automatically enrolled for their local government area.
  • Only how-to-vote cards that have been lodged in accordance with the relevant legislation can be distributed on polling day.
  • Candidates and contributors to candidates' campaigns are required to disclose expenses and contributions.

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