February 20, 2019
Population fluctuations in the northern half of the region could result in some South Burnett residents swapping Divisions at the next Council elections in March 2020.
At Wednesday’s Council meeting, Councillors were told the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) had asked the South Burnett Regional Council to review the quota for each of the region’s six Divisions, then advise the Minister for Local Government and the ECQ of the result by March 1.
CEO Mark Pitt said divided councils – such as the South Burnett – were obliged by the Local Government Act to have roughly the same number of residents in each Division.
This helped ensure the workload was spread fairly among councillors, and all residents had equal representation.
Mr Pitt said a review had disclosed that Division 4 (ie the northern portion of Kingaroy) was slightly above quota due to population growth.
Divisions 5 and 6 – the northern and western areas of the region – also needed slight adjustments because of small population declines.
However, the population in areas to the south of Kingaroy was fairly stable and no adjustments were required there at the present time.
Mr Pitt noted there was some instability in the population, with evidence the number of residents in some Divisions had grown, then declined, over a short space of time.
The Council will advise the ECQ some minor boundary changes will need to be made to Divisions 4, 5 and 6 to bring them back into line with the average quota.
If the Council’s advice is accepted by the ECQ, about 200 voters will be reallocated from Division 4 to Division 6 for the March 2020 Council elections.