Monday, 6 July 2020
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Unelected mayors could end up in power under new laws

A change in state government law means councils could be run by unelected mayors if the first winner vacates the seat within 12 months.

The Electoral Amendment Bill passed by the Palaszczuk Labor Government has made it if an elected Mayor resigns or vacates the job in their first 12 months, they will be replaced by the runner-up.

The LNP has warned councils could end up being led by mayors who have been overwhelmingly rejected at the ballot box under the new electoral laws.

Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause said the bill was an affront to democracy in local government across the entire State.

“These are disgraceful changes which show absolute contempt for voters – the people of Queensland – and their right to choose their civic leaders,” Mr Krause said.

“This could mean someone who received over 70 per cent of residents’ votes – as happened in Toowoomba - being replaced by someone who may have received less than 20 per cent and who does not reflect the voting intentions of residents at all.

“This so-called electoral reform has rightly been slammed by council leaders as un-democratic.”

Mr Krause said MPs were not given enough time to consider 229 late amendments, which was given to them late the night before the bill was introduced.

“Queenslanders simply cannot trust the Palaszczuk Labor Government – not with our finances, not with our health system or roads, and certainly not with protecting democracy in our local governments.”