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WITH ballot papers due to arrive in letterboxes over the next couple of weeks, readers will be scratching their heads over who gets their vote in the Southern Downs Regional Council election this month.

Election day is April 28, so there's still some time to make up your mind about who should be charged with leading the region.

Following election forums, at which more than 500 people met the candidates, the Daily News has distributed all questions asked on the night, allowing all candidates to answer.

As well as putting this information online in coming days, we'll be printing a question a day with candidates' answers to help you decide on your top eight councillors and No.1 for mayor.

Because there are eight mayoral candidates and 22 councillor candidates, we've limited responses to 100 words.

Another forum - this time organised by Southern Downs Business Group - will be held in the Town Hall this Saturday from 2pm.

Group spokeswoman Sue Gordon said she had issued an open invitation to all new councillor candidates.

She said, because people knew the sitting councillors, the weekend event would give the hopefuls a chance to have their voices heard.

"I'm very interested to see what the new candidates are bringing to their proposed role as councillor," she said. "I want to hear their thoughts about the future."

The public forum will see new candidates speak then the floor will be open for questions.

Mayoral candidates and currently serving councillors will not be invited to speak. Ms Gordon said she would be listening with interest to candidates' thoughts on disability services and care for the elderly.

The Daily News reminds readers the election is a full postal ballot.

Unlike the State election, there is no preferential voting.

On the mayoral ballot paper, just put a number one beside your preferred candidate.

On the councillor ballot, number one to eight. It is not preferential, therefore the sequence is unimportant.

For further information please visit ecq.qld.gov.au or call the voters helpline on 1300 881 665.

Topics:  local government elections southern downs regional council



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