It is now a week since the local government elections and counting is reaching the pointy end.
With almost 70 per cent of votes counted on Friday in Ipswich, the make-up of the new council (mayor and eight councillors) is all-but clear in all four divisions.
The final date for postal votes in 5pm on Tuesday 7 April and the Electoral Commission of Queensland expects to declare Ipswich results by either late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Council is making arrangements for new councillors to take their declaration of office as soon possible after that. No date for the first council meeting has been set as yet.
Teresa Harding is the mayor-in-waiting for Ipswich.
In Division 1, Sheila Ireland and Jacob Madsen are clear front runners.
In Division2, Paul Tully and running mate Nicole Jonic are well ahead of their rivals.
In Division 3, Marnie Doyle is a lock, with Andrew Fechner ahead of Jim Dodrill, Alyson Lewis and Toni Gibbs for the second spot.
In Division 4, Kate Kunzelmann has a significant lead, with Russell Milligan well ahead of Susan Dunne in the race to join her.
Transition to new council term
The Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs has released information regarding the transition arrangements for the new council term.
Visit dlgrma.qld.gov.au/transitionarrangements for detailed information and updates on:
- Arrangements until ECQ final declaration of election result
- What to do when ECQ has declared the election result
- Post-election council meetings.
Declarations of office
Councils remain in caretaker period until the final declaration of the election results by the ECQ for the whole of their local government area.
The final date is very likely to be different for each council depending on the counting of votes.
All council Chief Executive Officers (CEO) are strongly encouraged to undertake the declarations of office as soon as possible (next day ideally) after ECQ declares the final poll for the whole council area.
These declarations can be undertaken via phone call, teleconference or video conference to assist councils in complying with social distancing requirements.
No mayor or councillor can take their declaration of office until ECQ officially declares the final poll for the whole local government area, even if the mayor or councillor was elected unopposed or they have received confirmation of their individual result.
Any declarations taken before ECQ declares the final poll are invalid and the mayor or councillor will be required to undertake the declaration when ECQ makes the final declaration of poll.
Local Disaster Management Group
Given the integral role that the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) plays in the response to COVID-19, it is imperative that new members are appointed to these groups as quickly as possible after the declaration of poll for the whole local government area.
As the mayor or another councillor are the chairperson of each LDMG these arrangements continue until ECQ declares the final election results.
Once the full results are declared by ECQ, any former councillor who is not re-elected will cease to be a member of the LDMG. All new or returning councillors must take their declaration of office before they can continue on the LDMG.
To help in these circumstances, the Disaster Management Regulation 2014 has been amended to allow the Deputy Chair to act as the LDMG Chair and, if they are not able to, for the CEO of council to act as the LDMG Chair.
If neither the Deputy Chair or CEO can act as the chairperson, the District Disaster Coordinator can act as the chairperson.
In the event the LDMG needs to meet prior to council appointing a new chairperson, the Local Disaster Coordinator will also continue to play an important role in continuing the operations of the LDMG until council can appoint the new chairperson.
For more information and Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs updates on transitional arrangements visit dlgrma.qld.gov.au/transitionarrangements