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Queensland says 'Yes' in referendum

QUEENSLAND'S next batch of State politicians will be able settle in for an extra year in government after most voters backed the referendum on four-year fixed parliamentary terms.The Electoral Commission of Queensland officially declared the 'yes' result on Tuesday.

Of the almost 80% votes that have been counted, 52% of voters ticked 'yes' and 47% voted 'no'.

Almost 3% of the votes were informal.

READ: How the 'Yes' and the 'No' cases were pitched to Queensland. 

Electoral Commissioner Walter van der Merwe said the result was a historic moment for Queensland as the same referendum was rejected by voters 25 years ago.

"And this is only the third successful referendum in Queensland's history," he said.

Lengthening the terms had bipartisan support and the backing of Queensland's independent MPs, who argued it would allow governments to act with a more long-term view.

It will also mean State elections will be held on the last Saturday of October every four years.

The government said fewer elections would save money, with the last general election costing $24 million.

But Katter's Australian Party argued it was about power and job security.

Queensland's Clerk of the Parliament, Neil Laurie, questioned whether lengthening terms would encourage good governance as the State did not have an upper house to scrutinise bills, finances and government actions.

Mr van der Merwe will officially return the writ for the referendum to the Governor of Queensland in the next week.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath's office said she would likely make more comment later in the day. - ARM NEWSDESK



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