Maranoa and Murweh differ on voting strategy
MARANOA mayoral candidates Robert Loughnan and Tyson Golder are split on the issue of 100% postal voting for local government elections.
The Maranoa, like many of the councils in south-west Queensland, implemented 100% postal voting before the 2012 elections.
However, our next door neighbour in the Murweh Shire Council has since decided to introduce polling stations in the middle of town.
Cr Loughnan said postal voting was more convenient and cheaper on the ratepayer, who have to foot the bill for local government elections.
“It’s more convenient for most people,” he said.
“They don’t have to go anywhere to vote – they can just place their vote.
“Everyone’s on the same footing – everyone gets the mail and can vote through postal voting.
“It’s cheaper, more effective and puts everyone on a level playing field.”
Murweh chose not to make an application to the Electoral Commission of Queensland to have a postal-only ballot, in the hopes the default in-person voting would spur a one-day economic boom.
Mayor Denis Cook said the return to polling stations came after they received complaints about the fairness and administration of the postal voting at the 2012 election, but the shire has strategically picked polling stations in the middle of town.
“If you get all people to come into town hall, in the centre of town, maybe they will spend some money at our shops and services.
“That’s why we particularly put it in the town hall.”
He said the decision wouldn’t necessarily cost the council heavily.
“The electoral commission runs it, but council has to pay a fair bit of money for it.
“It doesn’t matter which way you go, it’s still going to cost.”
Mayoral candidate and businessman Tyson Golder said the extra cost was worth it to ensure people had a choice.
“People should be able to be given a choice,” he said.
“If everyone wanted postal voting, I would be the first person supporting it, but they don’t.
“What I like is giving people the option and everyone thinks there’s a voting day, which there isn’t.
“I’m not against postal voting; I’m against not having any choice.”