Queenslanders turn out in their millions for council elections

More than three million Queenslanders will cast their ballots in the state's local elections.

More than three million Queenslanders will cast their ballots in the state's local elections.

Queenslanders could face lengthy queues at the ballot box despite more than a third of voters having already made their choice ahead of local government election day.

Queensland has Australia’s two biggest local councils, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with 3.5 million voters statewide expected to cast their ballots on Saturday.

More than 1.4 million electors already voted before election day, the Queensland Electoral Commission said.

“While this number represents over 40 per cent of eligible voters, it also means that a big turnout is expected on election day when voting resumes … at over 1000 polling booths state-wide,” it said.

The electoral commission has urged people to be patient and prepared when they turn out to vote.

“Hydration and sun protection are also recommended, given the large numbers of Queenslanders still to vote and the expectation that there may be wait times in some locations.”

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner is seeking re-election against Labor’s Tracey Price and the Greens’ Jonathan Sriranganathan.

Mr Schrinner narrowly won a majority council chamber in the 2020 local government election but suffered a 5.1 per cent swing, and a 3.9 per cent swing against the LNP across the wards.

Other wards to watch include Paddington, Enoggera, Morningside, The Gabba and Calamvale which the current councillors hold onto with narrow margins.

Candidate facing murder charge

On the Gold Coast, there is one division to watch.

Incumbent councillor Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden is seeking re-election for division seven while facing a murder charge.

He is accused of killing his stepfather Robert Malcolm Lumsden, 58, at the family’s Arundel home in August.

Mr Bayldon-Lumsden says the state government endorsed his candidacy despite a coming trial for the murder charge.

“It’s up to the voters now who they want as their representative,” he told AAP on Friday.

But rival candidates and the state member for Bonney have taken a dim view.

“If he really cared about the community, he would not have put his hand up with an unresolved murder charge,” LNP MP Sam O’Connor said.

Mr O’Connor said if the incumbent is re-elected it will likely result in another suspension, similar to what occurred six months ago when the charge was laid.

Premier Steven Miles on Friday told reporters Mr Bayldon-Lumsden would be “suspended again given the circumstances” if re-elected.

Candidates Joe Wilkinson and Jenna Schroeder criticised Mr Bayldon-Lumsden for running again, considering the council area has been without elected representation for six months.

Elsewhere, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is seeking re-election for a fourth time, and faces eight challengers.

Mayors and councillors are up for election across Queensland’s 77 local governments but some voters will receive only one option on the ballot as some candidates run unopposed.

The local council elections take place on Saturday alongside two state government by-elections.

The by-elections are in Inala and Ipswich West after respective members, former premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jim Madden, resigned.


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