The ballot held on March 19 produced a mixture of new mayors, a few surprises and a measure of stability in the larger regional and city councils. In the months and weeks ahead of the election the polls clearly showed that Labor’s candidate for mayor Rod Harding was closing in on Graham Quirk. However in a somewhat surprising result Graham Quirk retained the lord mayoral robes as the LNP’s majority in council actually increased. Labor have won only five of the 26 wards.
In other major city and regional locations Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, Cairns Mayor Bob Manning, Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill and Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio all kept their jobs.
However, throughout Queensland, more than 35 candidates are set to serve as mayor for the first time including Cr Luke Smith in Logan and Jack Dempsey in Bundaberg. Meanwhile Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett defeated Mayor Gail Sellers in Gladstone.
In another surprise, Brisbane City Council will feature its first Greens councillor, Jonathan Sri who won ahead of Labor’s candidate in the contest for the Gabba ward. Woolloongabba is a fringe city suburb and this result reflects the trend for inner city areas to favour Green candidates.
Queenslanders also voted in a referendum on whether state parliamentarians should serve fixed, four-year terms. The yes vote is presently is on 53.02 per cent after 62.4 per cent of the vote counted.