A by-election could cost the Fraser Coast hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A by-election could cost the Fraser Coast hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lauren Smit

How much we are paying for the Fraser Coast's by-election

THE Fraser Coast's by-election could cost ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to decide on their next mayor.

It follows a by-election being called for the region for May 5, following the dismissal of ex-mayor Chris Loft on February 16.

The Chronicle understands the by-election could cost up to $390,000.

But a spokeswoman from the Electoral Commission of Queensland said they would not comment on individual election costs.

The spokeswoman said election expenses range from staffing, resources and facilities at polling booths and pre-poll booths to distribution of optional voting items like postal votes.

Further doubt has been cast on the legislative ability of the Commission to hold a by-election while Mr Loft fights the dismissal in the Supreme Court.

The ousted mayor has called for a judicial review of the State Government's decision.

A hearing date has been set for March 19 to allow legal teams for Mr Loft and the State Government to exchange relevant documents.

But the ECQ spokeswoman said Section 24(1)(2) of the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 requires a by-election be held within 12 weeks of a councillor vacancy.

"The Commission is therefore bound by law to hold a by-election to fill the vacancy in the Fraser Coast Regional Council," the spokeswoman said.



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