Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe. File picture
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe. File picture

‘Too complex’: State holds off on council vote changes

PLANS to bring in campaign spending caps and senate-style voting for next year's council elections have been deferred by the Palaszczuk Government.

Candidates will also not be allowed to run for Mayor as well as for a council position with dual candidacy no longer on the table.

But voters will still need to number every box when choosing their mayor or when voting for councillors in divided councils like Brisbane, with Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe revealing compulsory preferential voting would be brought in for the March 2020 local government elections.

Mr Hinchliffe said more work was needed on spending caps and on plans to bring in proportional representation for undivided councils like Noosa and Toowoomba.

"Feedback received on proportional representation (PR) showed this change to the voting system would be too complex to introduce for the 2020 Local Government election," Mr Hinchliffe said in a statement.

"As a consequence, further consultation will be undertaken on PR, with the aim of introducing partial proportional representation for undivided councils at the 2024 Local Government election.

"Similarly, expenditure caps will not be implemented to apply to the 2020 Local Government elections."

"And we will not be proceeding with dual candidacy arrangements, meaning candidates can only nominate as Mayor or councillor but not as both."

The changes come ahead of an extraordinary Local Government Association of Queensland meeting of mayors and councillors from across the state in Brisbane tomorrow to discuss the Government's proposed reforms.

The LGAQ has been running an ad campaign against many of the changes including proportional representation.

The Government was expected to its electoral reforms this week along with a tranche of changes related to the Crime and Corruption Commission's Belcarra inquiry.

Those new laws are now expected to be introduced during a parliamentary sitting week after Easter.