Early voting started today for the Whitsunday Regional Council election. Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Early voting started today for the Whitsunday Regional Council election. Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

ELECTIONS: Early voting and coronavirus concern covered

THE Whitsunday Regional council election is just 12 days away and in the midst of coronavirus containment efforts, many voters are looking for opportunities to avoid the crowds come election day.

Voting in the upcoming election is compulsory, however the Queensland Electoral Commission is implementing a range of extra measures to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Postal vote applications for those wishing to vote remotely close at 7pm this evening and forms to lodge a postal vote can be found here.

Early voting also commenced today and voting centres have been opened for extended hours including this Saturday.

The centres are open as follows:

- 16/3: 9am - 5pm

- 17/3: 9am - 5pm

- 18/3: 9am - 9pm

- 19/3: 9am - 9pm

- 20/3: 9am - 5pm

- 21/3: 9am - 5pm

- 23/3: 9am - 6pm

- 24/3: 9am - 6pm

- 25/3: 9am - 9pm

- 26/3: 9am - 9pm

- 27/3: 9am - 6pm

There are four early voting locations across the Whitsundays, they are the old post office at Whitsunday Shopping Centre in Cannonvale, Proserpine Whitsunday Freemason Lodge on Chapman St in Proserpine, Collinsville Community Centre on the corner of Stanley and Conway streets and the PCYC on Hay St in Bowen.

Come March 28, the locations of polling booths will not be the same as the early polling centres.

Voters in Airlie Beach can head to the Whitsunday PCYC or Cannonvale State School while Hamilton Island voters can lodge their vote at Hamilton Island Resort.

In Proserpine, voters should head to Father Tom Guard Hall at St Catherine's Catholic College.

Bowen voters can lodge their vote at Bowen PCYC while residents of Collinsville can vote at the Collinsville Community Centre.

Merina State School, Queens Beach State School and Dingo Beach Community Centre will also available for voters in these areas.

Polling booths at all locations will be open from 8am to 6pm.

The ECQ have advised that additional hygiene precautions including hand sanitiser will be provided at polling booths and extra staff will be employed to assist in monitoring the number of voters.

Polling booth areas will also be regularly disinfected with vote issuing tables spread out to keep the distance between people voting as large as possible.

Voters are encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil with them to vote as an additional hygiene precaution.

Telephone voting will also be available to all electors in 'declared institutions' such as aged care facilities.

For more information on voting, click here.


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