Council candidates splashed out $213,000 in their fight to win over your vote in the March
Council candidates splashed out $213,000 in their fight to win over your vote in the March

What council candidates spent to win your vote

COUNCIL candidates splashed out $213,000 in their fight to win votes in the March election.

Across three elections in Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays, council hopefuls poured their cash into mailouts, newspaper ads, online, television and radio advertising and pitched signs and corflutes in every available spot.

This week, the staggering candidate election bill was revealed in Electoral Commission of Queensland data.

Mackay candidates were the biggest spenders, dropping $181,452 in the tightly contested campaign.

The 10 Greg Williamson Alliance candidates had the largest bill, splashing out

$77,199 to secure a total of 49.2 per cent of the vote.

The next biggest spender was independent Frank Gilbert who spent $32,067 on his failed bid for Mackay council.

Frank Gilbert’s campaign spent $1.23 for every vote he won. Picture: Tony Martin
Frank Gilbert’s campaign spent $1.23 for every vote he won. Picture: Tony Martin

Coming in at 12th place with 26,018 votes, Mr Gilbert's campaign spent $1.23 for every vote he won.

Peter Sheedy, who also lost his bid for council, spent $20,683 on his campaign, and the double ticket Jeff Keioskie and Ian Christensen splashed $17,541 on their failed run.

The candidate who had the best value for money was re-elected independent councillor Martin Bella, who spend just $0.12 for every vote he won.

Another thrifty campaigner was Alison Jones, who won her seat for just $0.14 a vote.

There were definitely savings by buying in bulk, with the Greg Williamson Alliance spending less than 30 cents per vote and securing six seats in council.

The Greg Williamson Alliance: Ayril Paton, Justin Englert, Fran Mann, Belinda Hassan, Karen May, Greg Williamson, Ross Gee, Michelle Green, Pauline Townsend, Greg Fisher and Craig Menkins. Picture: Fiona Kroll
The Greg Williamson Alliance: Ayril Paton, Justin Englert, Fran Mann, Belinda Hassan, Karen May, Greg Williamson, Ross Gee, Michelle Green, Pauline Townsend, Greg Fisher and Craig Menkins. Picture: Fiona Kroll

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(L to R) Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker, Division 5 councillor Gary Simpson, Division 2 councillor Al Grundy, Mayor Andrew Willcox, deputy mayor and Division 3 councillor John Collins, Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford and Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright. Picture: Jordan Gilliland
(L to R) Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker, Division 5 councillor Gary Simpson, Division 2 councillor Al Grundy, Mayor Andrew Willcox, deputy mayor and Division 3 councillor John Collins, Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford and Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright. Picture: Jordan Gilliland

A pricey Whitsunday election

CANDIDATES dropped $28,028 to win over Whitsunday in the March election.

Division 1 was the most viciously contested seat, with Jan Clifford, Jess Kelly and Mark Yore spending a total of $12,119 in the election.

Cr Clifford won 926 ballots and claimed the seat, forking out $5.85 per vote.

Failed candidate Mark Yore spent less than Cr Clifford, but only secured 251 votes, making his the most expensive campaign in the entire region.

Mr Yore spent $19.92 for every vote he won in the election.

John Collins ran the cheapest winning Whitsunday campaign, spending $1895 in Division 3.

Thrifty campaigns win over Isaac

WITH five candidates, one polling booth and 58,000sq km to cover, the Isaac Regional Council elections was a unique challenge.

Despite needing to cover a huge district, Isaac candidates were the thriftiest spenders.

The entire council battle over two divisions cost just $3962.

Isaac Regional Council division two candidates Nick Wheeler and Sandy Moffat ran in the 2020 council elections.
Isaac Regional Council division two candidates Nick Wheeler and Sandy Moffat ran in the 2020 council elections.

Sandy Moffat ran a lean campaign to win over Dysart's Division 2, spending just $519 to oust former councillor Nick Wheeler.

The large, but sparsely populated, Division 8 was won by Vivienne Coleman after a three-way race against Karen Hindle and Jennifer Ennis.

Cr Coleman spent an average of $3.24 per vote, winning 552 ballots.

Isaac Regional Council division eight candidates Vivienne Coleman, Jennifer Ennis and Karen Hindle ran in the 2020 council elections.
Isaac Regional Council division eight candidates Vivienne Coleman, Jennifer Ennis and Karen Hindle ran in the 2020 council elections.

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Spend by councillor

Provided by Electoral Commission of Queensland

All candidates were required to submit their Election Summary Returns this week.

An ECQ spokeswoman said all candidates had returned their reports, with the exception of one Mackay, an Isaac and two Whitsunday candidates.

Mackay Regional Council

Greg Williamson Alliance: $77,199.5, spend per vote $0.28

Frank Gilbert: $32,067.47, spend per vote $1.23

Peter Sheedy: $20,683.16, spend per vote $0.79

Jeff Keioskie and Ian Christensen: $17,541.59, spend per vote $0.40

Russell Seymour: $14,044.3, spend per vote $0.52

Laurence Bonaventura: $10,249.63, spend per vote $0.34

Alison Jones: $4204.34, spend per vote $0.14

Martin Bella: $3908.20, spend per vote $0.12

Jo-Ann Clout: $1164.05, spend per vote $0.05

Shane Hamilton: $390.5, spend per vote $0.02

Tony Borics: Did not disclose

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Whitsunday Regional Council

Janet Clifford: $5421.35, spend per vote $5.85

Mark Yore: $4999.61, spend per vote $19.92

Michelle Wright: $4495.41, spend per vote $3.99

Gary Simpson: $3507.93, spend per vote $2.29

Dave Clark: $2910.95, spend per vote $2.36

John 'Sarge' Collins: $1895.7, spend per vote $0.76

Allen Grundy: $1698.66, spend per vote $1.35

Jess Kelly: $1698.66, spend per vote $2.16

Peter Lawton: $1086.68, spend per vote $1.37

Brian Skead: $313.5, spend per vote $0.98

Brett Murphy: $0

Lachlan Queenan: Did not disclose

Heidi Ward: Did not disclose

Isaac Regional Council

Nick Wheeler: $1424.4, spend per vote $2.99

Sandy Moffat: $519.73, spend per vote $0.87

Vivienne Coleman: $1788.31, spend per vote $3.24

Karen Hindle: $229.8, spend per vote $1.04

Jennifer Ennis: Did not disclose