FLASHBACK: Noosa mayor and councillors after the swearing-in, in 2016.
FLASHBACK: Noosa mayor and councillors after the swearing-in, in 2016. Geoff Potter

Vote 1, 2, 3 ... for next mayor

NOOSA will vote for its next mayor under a compulsory preferential voting system in 2020 for the first time.

This means voters will be forced to place a number against every mayoral candidate in order of preference, where at the last election they were able to "just vote 1” under an optional preferential voting system.

Voting for Noosa councillors in 2020 will remain as it was in 2016, with voters simply marking their first six preferred candidates, with no requirement to rank remaining candidates.

The mayoral voting change is one of a suite of changes the State Government is implementing under the Belcarra Report which investigated local government election processes following corruption in a number of Queensland councils.

But a number of proposals will not be introduced in 2020, including dual candidacy into divided and undivided council elections, following discussions with the Local Government Association of Queensland and other stakeholders.

Dual candidacy is where a local government candidate can contest a councillor election and a mayoral election simultaneously, meaning if s/he misses out on the mayoralty, s/he can still be eligible, with enough votes, to be an elected councillor.

Acting Noosa Mayor Frank Wilkie said the mayoral CPV system for all mayoral contests and divided councils was being introduced despite strong opposition from councils and the LGAQ.

"Compulsory Preferential Voting was not a recommendation from the Belcarra or the Soorley Reports which followed the 2016 local government elections,” Cr Wilkie said.

"The optional preferential voting system is universally deemed to be fairer whereas CPV forces people to cast votes for candidates they may not know or even like.

"It's also a system that favours the entry of political parties into local government,” he said.

Cr Wilkie said dual candidacy was proposed as a benefit for small rural councils where the talent pool was often limited "but even they had rejected the idea”.

The change is being introduced in order for local government elections to more closely resemble voting systems already operating at state and federal levels, the government said.


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