Toowoomba Regional Council CEO Brian Pidgeon said Council will now follow the requirements under the Local Government Act 2009 (LGA) to appoint a new Mayor following today’s (July 6, 2023) announcement by Mayor Paul Antonio that he is retiring from local government at midday on Friday, July 21, 2023.

Under the LGA there is no requirement to hold an election to fill the vacant office of Mayor as the vacancy is now too close (within 12 months) to the next quadrennial local government election, set for March 2024.

Council must now meet and formally decide which Councillor will be Mayor until the next election. This meeting will be chaired by the Deputy Mayor, who will automatically become the Acting Mayor at 12.01pm on July 21, 2023.

Mr Pidgeon said a Special Meeting of Council will be scheduled for 12.01pm on Friday, July 21, 2023.

“The agenda for that meeting will need to facilitate the appointment of the Mayor and other Council decisions that will depend on which Councillor is appointed as Mayor,” Mr Pidgeon said.

“If Council appoints the Deputy Mayor as the new Mayor, it will also need to set a date for a subsequent Council meeting to appoint a new Deputy Mayor from the current Councillors.

“If the Deputy Mayor is not appointed as Mayor, there will be no need to appoint a new Deputy Mayor.”

The CEO must also follow LGA requirements to fill the vacant Councillor position for the remainder of the term.

Within 14 days of the new Mayor being appointed, the CEO must invite nominations for a Councillor to fill the vacant Councillor position.

“Nominations for the vacant Councillor position must be invited from any person who is qualified to be a Councillor, and from each person who was a candidate for election at the last local government election,” Mr Pidgeon said.

Notices calling for nominations will be published, including on Council’s website, and former candidates will be individually notified.

Council must then meet and formally resolve to fill the vacant office of Councillor by appointing one of those nominees within two months of July 21, 2023.

Following their appointment by Council, the CEO will then swear in a new Councillor.