Council toys with postal ballot

THE looming Lockyer Valley Regional Council elections could be conducted by postal ballot.

Mayor Steve Jones said the postal ballot method would provide an opportunity for a streamlined and cost-effective process, given the challenges the community had faced during the year.

"It will also provide an opportunity to reduce the cost of the election to the community," Cr Jones said.

"Elections have a financial impact upon council, and we have budgeted $225,000 in this financial year for the one to be held in 2012."

Cr Jones said the 2008 elections cost about $123,000, but he expected the conduct of a postal ballot would be more cost effective because of the changed process and the need for fewer staff.

"Council records indicate that previous local government elections, including those held in 2008, have historically been conducted by attendance poll," Cr Jones said.

"Local government elections are no longer part of our CEO's duties, but are now the responsibility of the Electoral Commission of Queensland."

CEO Ian Flint said council had consulted with the Department of Local Government and the Local Government Association regarding changes to the process.

"We have been advised on the need for community consultation to change the voting method," Mr Flint said.

"Although there has not been sufficient time for extensive consultation, some commentary has been received."

Every resident on the electoral roll would be sent an individual ballot paper and a return addressed envelope.

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