SHOCKED: Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan.
SHOCKED: Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan. Dominic Elsome

Massive bill shocks councillors

A BILL of nearly $400,000 has Lockyer Valley Regional Council representatives confused.

The Queensland Electoral Commission served the bill to council to cover the cost of running next year's local election.

The amount is just over double the amount charged for the 2016 election.

Mayor Tanya Milligan said the increased bill was disappointing.

"I truly struggle to understand how the QEC can justify charging us close to $400,000 for next year's election when the last full election in 2016 cost $191,584,” Cr Milligan said.

"I fail to see how all of a sudden the cost for the election process has doubled.”

Cr Milligan said the process before the amalgamation of Gatton and Laidley shire councils was "far easier, more efficient and considerably cheaper”.

"If the State Government insists on running the elections, surely common sense would dictate they should better engage and consult with councils,” she said.

"After all, it's our communities that we live in and we know it better than they do.”

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said making a comparison between the costs of the 2020 and 2016 local elections was like comparing apples and oranges.

"The Queensland Government subsidised the 2016 council elections because a state referendum was held at the same time,” Mr Vidgen said.

"That was a big boost for councils but of course that won't apply next year.”

He also cited population growth and the need to service more voters as possible causes of higher operational costs.