Voting continues in Queensland as booths and stations open in the final week of early polling for the 2020 local government elections.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young had made it clear today that it was “perfectly safe” to vote.
The Minister said that people who were well, not self-isolating and not in quarantine should vote.
“At the moment, you can get go shopping, duck into the chemist, drop the kids off at school, get a haircut and pick up a takeaway meal as long as you take precautions,” the Minister said.
“And you can vote.
“If you can, take advantage of the opportunity to vote early – it will mean fewer people and shorter queues on Saturday.
“I’d also like to thank all those employers who have encouraged their staff to go and vote early – it will make an enormous difference.”
Speaking at a media conference, Dr Young said voters who were healthy could vote early or on election day, 28 March, and maintain the 1.5m distance between individuals.
“Everyone … absolutely go and vote, vote early this week … vote on Saturday … it’s perfectly safe,” she said.
“Normally our voting process is a very social event – we have sausage sizzles, we have fetes, we have all sorts of things.
“They’re not happening this time, so people just go straight in and vote and straight out – and the risk of doing that is absolutely minimal.
“Of course I would ask that anyone who is sick to not attend, that’s just common sense, and anyone who’s in quarantine or isolation or is in one of those groups that we’re concerned about, for them not to attend, and they should contact the electoral commission and manage that process.”
Mr Hinchliffe said voters had turned out in historic numbers, with more than 500,000 pre-polling and about 560,000 applications for postal votes.
Early voting continues today and tomorrow from 9am to 6pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 9pm, Friday from 9am to 6pm and Election Day from 8am to 6pm.
For more information on the election, visit www.ecq.qld.gov.au.
For Queensland Health guidelines during the pandemic, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19
Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe