Premier fires starter’s gun on council election campaign

THE countdown to the 2016 local government elections is now underway.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today formally requested the Governor's approval to issue the writ for the referendum for fixed four-year terms for the Queensland parliament, a vote that will be held in conjunction with council elections on March 19.

"The Electoral Commission of Queensland will start its awareness campaign tomorrow," the Premier said.

The writ for the referendum will be formally issued by the Governor on Monday while the Notice of Poll for the council elections will be advertised tomorrow.

Nominations for councillors and mayoral candidates close on February 16.

It brings the terms of state parliament into line with that of local government.

"Queensland is the only State without four-year terms," the Premier said.

The Government has allocated $11.5 million to ECQ to conduct the referendum and.

It will also provide the Local Government Association of Queensland with a $3.7 million subsidy for costs of holding the referendum in conjunction with the council elections.

The saving for Queensland taxpayers, compared to a separate referendum, is $5.1 million.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said the Government and Opposition would finalise a "yes" case committee.

"We have taken a bipartisan approach to this issue - seeking to work constructively to ensure the best outcome for the future of Queensland's system of government," Mrs D'Ath said.

"It's only right that the people of Queensland have their say."



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