Massive field for Div 7 by-election
A DOZEN people have stepped up to the plate as the race for the vacant council seat heats up.
The Melbourne Cup style field of 11 candidates, all relatively fresh faced, is bound to split the voters.
But, the candidates won't need to win over all 12,000 division 7 residents to win a spot on the council.
Some commentators believe this election will be decided by preferences, others aren't so sure.
A councillor's job comes with $117,000 a year pay packet but also a lot of responsibility.
Divison 7 covers the CBD and inner city suburbs including Eastern Heights, Raceview, Silkstone, Coalfalls, Sadliers Crossing, West Ipswich, Woodend and Raceview.
One of Ipswich's longest serving politicians says while it's anyone's race, some candidates have a better chance than others.
On Thursday, only two people had lodged their formal nomination with the Electoral Commission Queensland, ahead of the October 7 poll.
Those who have declared their intention to run come from a range of backgrounds.
They are local business owners, experts in their fields, politician's employees, and community volunteers and leaders.
Many have political party affiliations but all say they are running as independents, without financial help from parties.
Veteran politician and local Federal MP Shayne Neumann said as there was no incumbent, the race was "wide open".
But he believes there are some who are more likely than others to capture the hearts and minds of the voters.
Mr Neumann said all candidates faced the same challenge; trying to organise a political campaign in a very short period of time.
Once nominations close on Tuesday, there will be just over two weeks left before Election Day leaving little time for door knocking and campaign events.
"Organisation is critical," Mr Neumann said.
"Money is critical and ideas that differentiate from other candidates... that's critical too."
Several candidates are members of the Labor Party and Mr Neumann said that might count in those candidates' favour, although voters have made it clear they don't want party politics involved in council elections.
Previous state and federal elections show that traditionally, the voters living in Division 7 tend to vote for the Labor Party, however, no one is running in this election as an endorsed candidate.
"I've never favoured party politics at a council level," Mr Neumann said.
"People are prepared to support candidates who are members of political parties, but they vote them in as independents."
One of the candidates, Darren Baldwin, works for Ipswich West MP Jim Madden.
Mr Neumann says that experience could work in Mr Baldwin's favour.
"That experience helped Kylie Stoneman, who worked for me, and it help Kerry Silver, who worked for former deputy mayor Victor Attwood, so that's an advantage for someone like Darren Baldwin," he said.
Kylie Stoneman and Kerry Silver were voted in at the 2016 election.
Darren Baldwin ran in the same election for division 9, against Sheila Ireland.
It was a tight race and before preferences were counted, Mr Baldwin looked likely to win.
Name recognition is a big hurdle for candidates who are less known throughout Ipswich.
Mr Neumann said those known throughout the division for their community work would also likely enjoy the advantages of that association while those known to sit on the far left or far right side of politics may struggle.
But at the end of the day, Mr Neumann said, voters would likely judge candidates of the merits of their ideas.
"People will look at the candidates' political views and see how well those individuals are likely to get along with other levels of government," Mr Neumann said.
"There is a mood for a change of direction," he said.
WHO WILL RUN
Key dates and information
- September 19 at noon: Nominations close
- October 3: Pre-poll voting opens
- October 6: Pre-poll voting closes
- October 7: Election Day
Where to vote
- Community Kindergarten, 52 Glebe Road, Newtown
- Ipswich Central State School Hall, 2A Griffith Road, Ipswich
- Raceview State School Hall, 96 Wildey Street, Raceview
- Whitehill Church of Christ, 219 Whitehill Road, Raceview
- Blair State School Hall, Cribb Street, Sadliers Crossing
- Silkstone State School Hall, Molloy Street
- Ipswich West State School, Kennedy Street