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Date set for Lockyer council by-election

BACK TO THE POLLS: Lockyer Valley councillor Chris Wilson speaks to reporters about the upcoming council by-election, to be held on February 10.
BACK TO THE POLLS: Lockyer Valley councillor Chris Wilson speaks to reporters about the upcoming council by-election, to be held on February 10. Melanie Keyte

LOCKYER Valley residents will return to the ballots on February 10 for the Lockyer Valley Regional Council by-election after Councillor Jim McDonald vacated his seat to enter state parliament.

Nominations will open on January 13 and close at noon on January 23.

Cr Chris Wilson said the job was open to all Lockyer Valley residents who are enrolled to vote.

"Our council at the moment has a strong focus on financial sustainability, so it'd be good to see someone come on board with that outlook," he said.

"Obviously Cr McDonald held the environment portfolio, so someone with that background would be most beneficial as well.

"The role of council is very important to the community, so I'd encourage anybody who isn't on the electoral roll to (enrol) before January 19 - it's the best way to have your say in what happens in your community."

Cr Wilson said costs are not yet finalised, but expected the by-election to cost around $100,000-$150,000.

"We're in negotiations with ECQ (Electoral Commission Queensland) to try and reduce those costs as much as we can for our ratepayers," he said.

"Basically, we've got the option of a postal election or a booth election, so we're looking at having a booth election and reducing the number of polling booths to try and bring that cost down."

Cr Wilson said he was enthusiastic to see who would become the region's newest councillor.

"It was very close in the last election a couple of years ago, so I would expect a couple of those people to certainly put their hand up again and do quite well," he said.

"We're halfway through a term, so the dynamic has been formed in council and it'll be interesting to have a new person, a nice change, and we're looking forward to working with whoever the successful person is.

"No doubt they have big shoes to fill - Jim McDonald was an very experienced councillor and a local policeman for a number of years, so he does leave a big gap in our council but I'm sure the new person will be able to fill the role as well."


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