Queensland Decides an election wrap-up

The LGAQ has released some facts, figures and insights of the Local Government Election held on Saturday 15 March 2008.

The sweeping reforms of local government in Queensland which commenced in April 2007 radically altered the electoral landscape.

There are now 73 councils in Queensland local government – 37 of which are continuing councils (unchanged in terms of area) and 36 new councils (changed in area by amalgamation or boundary change) formed as a result of the State Government’s Local Government Reform agenda.

The reforms resulted in fewer councils, down from 157 to 73 (which includes 12 continuing former indigenous councils and 2 new indigenous councils).

Of the 59 remaining ‘mainstream’ local governments, 25 are continuing councils (in most cases with reduced councillor numbers), and 34 are new amalgamated councils.

The Election

Over a century of electoral tradition and service by Queensland Councils (local Returning Officers) has come to an end with the 2008 local government elections being conducted for the first time by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ).

Local Government Reform legislation prescribed that the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) would conduct all elections, previously up to 2004, the Brisbane City Council elections were the only elections conducted by ECQ.

The voting for the 73 councils in the March 2008 elections was either by Postal voting (27 Councils) or attendance/booth voting (46 Councils).

Following the elections there are now fewer mayors and councillors, reduced from 1286 including indigenous mayors and councillors (125 “mainstream” mayors and 1000 councillors) down to 553 (73 mayors and 480 councillors).

As part of the reform process, The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal established and determined remuneration scales for each council.

For the first time in the Queensland’s history, prospective candidates nominated with a good understanding of the likely remuneration they could receive as an elected representative.

The reform process also provided that new councils would be whole unless all the affected/amalgamating councils unanimously agreed to be divided.

The current situation sees 51 of 73 councils undivided and the balance 22 (including Brisbane) having single member electoral divisions.

Inevitably there was a loss of experienced councillors and mayors in the 2008 election due to a reduction in available positions.

Fifty-one mayors did not recontest this election including some high profile and long serving mayors.

For more further information including details of voter turnout see


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