With counting coming to a close in the local government elections, it looks likely that Queensland will have the biggest turnover of mayors since Word War II. On the latest count, Queensland will have 44 new mayors.
In Brisbane, the LNP have asserted their dominance by taking 18 of the 26 Brisbane City Council wards. In the northern Brisbane ward of Northgate, where counting is still taking place, veteran ALP councillor Kim Flesser is set to win by just 100 votes.
The election results reflect widespread community concern with cost of living pressures as councils struggled to balance their budgets amidst the pressures of amalgamation and an under-performing state economy.
The local government elections also coincided with the South Brisbane by-election to replace Anna Bligh. Party official Jackie Trad claimed victory for Labor despite suffering a 4 per cent swing to the LNP’s Clem Grehan on a two-party preferred basis.
The election of Jackie Trad will give the ALP a much needed extra seat in the Parliament, taking their total numbers to seven. Jackie Trad has been given the shadow portfolio of Environment Transport and the Arts.
The first months of a new local government are a good opportunity for business to lay the foundations for a successful working relationship. Mayors and councillors wield considerable influence as leaders in their communities and their support can be critical to the success of a project.
It is much easier and more effective to have councils onside at the beginning of a project rather than try and bolt on an engagement strategy when you run into trouble.
If you would like to discuss the best way to work with local councils, please call the Government Relations team on (07) 3229 4499.