An map from the Electoral Commission of Queensland detailing division 10 of the Fraser Coast.
An map from the Electoral Commission of Queensland detailing division 10 of the Fraser Coast. Contributed

BY-ELECTION: Half of Div 10 candidates live outside area

IF YOU'RE voting in the upcoming by-election for Division 10, there's a strong chance your new councillor won't even live in the area.

Only one of the current candidates for Division 10 of the Fraser Coast live in the area, with more than half living outside Hervey Bay.

Division 10 includes most of Urangan, bordering Emerald Park Way and Pulgul Creek, and a portion of Torquay, bordering Robert St.

Of the five candidates, only Zane O'Keefe lives in the division.

Richard Mott lives in Hervey Bay, Paul Forst lives in Dundowran Beach and Lachlan Cosgrove and Phil Truscott live in Maryborough.

It's a situation that has concerned some of Division 10's residents, with Urangan's Sarah Rose saying the new councillor should live in the area if they wanted to represent its residents.

"If they're not from the area, they're not really a part of the community," Ms Rose said.

Urangan resident Fred Climas said candidates shouldn't run if they don't live in the area.

Another resident, Bob Seymour, said candidates living in the area would make it easier for them to work with their constituents.

But Jason Tregear said it was sometimes better if elected councillors didn't live in their divisions as they "might get too close to local issues" that would affect their impartiality.

Councillor Paul Truscott said there was no legal requirement for candidates to live in their respective division under Local Government law.

"I don't think a line on a map should dictate where individuals choose to stand for election in their region," Cr Truscott said.

"As long as elected members represent the concerns of their region, it shouldn't matter if they live on the other side of the line.

In the current Fraser Coast Regional Council, more than half of the elected representatives do not live in their respective divisions.

The Division 10 by-election will be held Saturday, July 21.



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