3 June 2024

ECQ investigating Hope Vale mayoral election

| Cape York Weekly

The Electoral Commission of Queensland is investigating allegations of non-compliance surrounding the Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council mayoral race in March 2024. Photo: Supplied.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has launched an investigation into the Hope Vale mayoral race following the 16 March local government elections.

Cape York Weekly understands the investigation pertains to two of the nine candidates who contested the Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council mayoral election, and allegations surrounding how-to-vote cards and undisclosed group campaigning.

It is believed the investigation is determining whether the allegations can be substantiated, and whether they breach the state’s Local Government Electoral Act 2011.

Section 183 of the Act prohibits candidates engaging in group or co-ordinated campaign activity for an election unless they are “members of the same group of candidates” or who are “endorsed by the same registered political party”.

ECQ would not confirm it was investigating the Hope Vale mayoral election, with a spokesperson stating the organisation “does not comment on compliance activities which may or may not be underway”, however, Cape York Weekly has seen correspondence from an ECQ manager advising that “the investigation is ongoing”.

“[T]his matter is still being investigated and we are treating it very seriously,” the manager states in the correspondence.

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