Council poll confirmed and referendum announced
VOTERS will have to move fast to update their electoral enrollments for the March 19 local government election, after confirmation of the poll date by Premier Annasacia Palaszczuk.
The poll will coincide with a statewide referendum on four-year fixed terms for the state parliament.
Ms Palaszczuk said the Electoral Commission of Queensland's awareness campaign would begin on Saturday, February 6, with the formal issuing of a writ for the referendum occurring on Monday, February 8.
From then, voters will have only until Friday, February 12 to check, change or register their electoral enrollment.
Nominations for councillor and mayoral candidates close on February 16.
"The Palaszczuk Government has requested the Governor's approval to issue the writ for the referendum for fixed four-year terms for Queensland's Legislative Assembly," the Premier said.
This would be held in conjunction with the local government elections on March 19.
"The referendum is being conducted after the Government and Opposition both supported a move to fixed four-year terms through the passage of the Constitution (Fixed Term Parliament) Amendment Bill 2015 last year.
"Queensland is the only State without four-year terms," the Premier said.
Ms Palaszczuk said the Government had acted on a request from the Local Government Association of Queensland and had allocated a $3.7 million sibsidy for local government for costs of holding the referendum in conjunction with the council elections.
The Government had allocated $11.5 million to ECQ to conduct the referendum, she said.
The saving for Queensland taxpayers, compared to the cost of a separate referendum, was $5.1 million.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said the Government and Opposition would finalise a "yes" case committee.
"We have taken a bipartisan approach to this issue - seeking to work constructively to ensure the best outcome for the future of Queensland's system of government," Mrs D'Ath said.