Gympie Regional Council Division 8.
Gympie Regional Council Division 8. Electoral Commission of Queensla

It's a date: council by-elections soon for Gympie and Fraser

GYMPIE Regional Council's by-election for its Mary Valley division will be held in May.

That much is official, but those in the know say some other relevant dates have also been set, including that of the Fraser Coast Regional by-election, to replace sacked mayor Chris Loft.

It is expected more formal announcements of other relevant dates will be made after the Commonwealth Games.

By-election day for Division 8 has been set for May 5, according to formal advice from Electoral Commission Queensland. The Fraser Coast poll is expected on the same day.

It is understood electors will be able to vote early from April 30 at pre-polling venues, yet to be announced.

James Cochrane has resigned.
James Cochrane has resigned. Renee Albrecht

Prospective candidates can expect to be able to nominate from April 7, with nominations closing on April 17.

Next month, ECQ will publish the official notice of election and will have an event specific webpage available with information about candidates and an official timetable.

An ECQ spokeswoman said announcements will be made public as soon as possible as information is updated.

Already, two prospective candidates have put themselves forward to replace former councillor James Cochrane, who resigned amid concerns that he was too busy with business and other matters to do the job to his own satisfaction..

Former councillor Julie Walker.
Former councillor Julie Walker. Leeroy Todd

Thje two would-be replacements are, in order of their announcements, ex-council engineer Bob Fredman and the woman Mr Cochrane defeated last election, long-term councillor Julie Walker.

A relatively informal expression of interest has been received by The Gympie Times in private correspondence from a Brisbane-based management consultant.

Bob Fredman.
Bob Fredman. Renee Albrecht

It is understood ECQ has also chosen May 5 as the date of the Fraser Coast mayoral by-election, after former mayor Chris Loft was sacked in controversial and historic circumstances by Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, a decision still subject to possible judicial review.

Gympie Times

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