Gold Coast Decides 2020

GC ELECTION | Latest vote count and division updates

Counting has continued today following Saturday’s council election, albeit very slowly.

Mona Hecke is still holding onto hope of a very late and very substantial comeback in the Mayoral race despite Tom Tate already settling back into the Mayor’s office today.

The race for Division 10 is still way too close to call and will come down to preferences.

The battle for Division 4 has become a bit clearer today with Cameron Caldwell opening up a substantial lead over Kristyn Boulton.

Here’s the latest round up of the vote count as at 6pm Monday as published by the ECQ:

Mayor

Mona Hacke is still not conceding defeat, despite Tom Tate maintaining his strong lead in the Mayoral vote with more than 46 per cent of the vote now counted.

Cr Tate has 93,396 votes or 55.82 per cent, compared to Ms Hecke with 39,720 votes or 23.74 per cent.

Tom Tate had already claimed victory on Sunday afternoon and wasted no time getting back to work today.

Ms Hecke says with many people only just receiving their postal ballots she wants to wait until the counting process is complete.

Many Gold Coast residents have only just received their Postal Ballots or recently sent them back to the Electoral…

Posted by Mona Hecke 2020 on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Division 1

Mark Hammel has increased his lead in Division 1 and now holds 46.02 per cent of the vote with 51.91 per cent now counted.

Mr Hammel remains on track to become one of four new councillors, but is holding off on claiming victory.

“The word I am hearing from scrutineers who continue the count is that at this stage, numbers of votes for me should only continue in the same direction, or possibly even strengthen,” Mr Hammel posted on Facebook.

His nearest rival Renee Clarke has 26.49 per cent of the vote so far.

While unfortunately, due to a technical glitch on the Electoral Commission Office website, we don't have an "official…

Posted by Mark Hammel for Division 1 on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Division 2 

William Owen-Jones has also extended his lead in Divison 2 with just over 53 per cent of the vote now counted.

Cr Owen-Jones has 58.39 per cent of the vote, with John Wayne sitting on 41.61 per cent.

Division 3

There’s been no new numbers for Division 3 today with still only 24 per cent of the vote counted.

But Donna Gates has already claimed victory with 77 per cent of the vote so far.

Division 4

With more than 61 per cent of the vote now counted in Division 4, Cameron Caldwell is set to be returned to Council.

He is now almost 1200 votes ahead of fellow Councillor Kristyn Boulton, and holds 56.62 per cent of the vote.

There’s still plenty of votes to be counted but the trend is all heading Cr Caldwell’s way.

Division 6

Finance professional Brooke Patterson is still on track to be another of the four new Councillors.

Ms Patterson actually claimed victory today in Division 6, despite only 18 per cent of the vote being counted (or at least published by the ECQ).

She was still holding almost 42 per cent of the vote with her nearest rival Shaelee Welchman on 23 per cent.

But Ms Welchman is refusing to concede defeat just yet, insisting there is still a long way to go.

We've won this thing! Thank you everyone. Just about to do tv interviews. This was all about #connectingourcommunity. Chat soon.

Posted by Brooke Patterson for Division 6, Gold Coast on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Hi everyone. The Division 6 result is far from over 💜 We have won a very large booth on preferences – eating into our rival's lead, with many thousands more vote to count. X

Posted by Shaelee Welchman for Division 6 City of Gold Coast on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Division 7

There’s been no update from the ECQ on yesterday’s numbers but Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden can put the cue in the rack.

He’s still holding almost 60 per cent of the vote with just over 20 per cent counted.

His nearest rival is Wendy Coe with just 14 per cent of the vote.

Division 8

Again, no update from the ECQ on yesterday’s figures with Bob La Castra comfortably in front with 48 per cent of the vote.

Division 9

Same again. But there’s probably a good reason the ECQ is taking its time.

With 59 per cent of the vote with 19 per cent counted, it’s pretty obvious Glenn Tozer is heading back to Council.

Division 10 

The most keenly anticipated of all of the divisions with Darren Taylor and Eddy Saroff neck and neck after Saturday.

And not surprisingly, there’s been no update published by the ECQ today.

Darren Taylor leads Eddy Saroff by just 12 votes.

Mr Saroff says no matter what the final result, he still sees it as a victory given his late nomination and the lean campaign he ran compared to some of his rivals.

Hi AllMy apologies for not staying in touch over the past few days, and hope you are all well and keeping safe. I've…

Posted by Eddy Sarroff for Division 10 on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Division 11 

Nothing to report here either with nothing new published by the ECQ today.

But Hermann Vorster already had 72 per cent of the vote with 20 per cent counted and was already out and about today looking at traffic line markings, as devoted councillors do.

SAFER CROSSINGNew line markings will keep vehicles away from one of our busiest school crossings. It follows new fencing, a road reconstruction and better ramps.Next is a new set of lights!

Posted by Councillor Hermann Vorster on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Division 12 

No update from the ECQ on Division 12 today with 40 per cent of the vote counted.

Pauline Young holds almost 45 per cent of the vote ahead of her nearest rival Cathy Osborne on 28 per cent.

But Ms Osborne is refusing to give in just yet.

In better news for Ms Osborne, her campaign car which was stolen last week, has been found in Miami.

Results still coming in for Division 12.What we can say is that Cathy's result so far is absolutely amazing…

Posted by Cathy Osborne – Division 12 Candidate on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Division 13 

A handful more votes have been counted today in Division 13 with Daphne McDonald still comfortably in front.

With 47.49 per cent of the vote now counted, Cr McDonald has increased her vote slightly to 45.75 per cent, with her nearest rival Katrina Beikoff on 27,82 per cent.

Thank you to everyone who voted in this extraordinary election! And a special thanks to the amazing members of our…

Posted by Katrina Beikoff for Division13 Gold Coast on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Division 14 

More than 59 per cent of the vote has now been counted in Division 14 where it’s game over.

Incumbent Gail O’Neill has over 62 per cent of the vote over Gloria Baker.

Next package bigger than anything yet: PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked businesses to hold fire on any further shutdowns or job cuts ahead of a third stimulus package to be announced in the next few days.

The package is expected to include a $1500 a fortnight “job keeper” allowance for those whose employers go into “hibernation” for the next six months, Seven News reported on Sunday night.

The government has so far announced two stimulus packages worth more than $80 billion aimed at trying to shield business and workers from the impact of coronavirus.

“The next stage … will be even bigger than anything you have so far seen,” Mr Morrison said on Sunday.

“It is part of the hibernation strategy of ensuring that we keep people connected with their businesses and with their jobs, so on the other side of this Australia can bounce back stronger.”

As well as the wage subsidy, there is also expected to be an easing of restrictions on claiming benefits, and rental assistance for both business and individuals.

It comes at a time when economists are predicting a jump in the unemployment rate, possibly as high as 17 per cent.

The government has to date resisted the idea of a wage subsidy similar to the UK’s, which would fund 80 per cent of the wage bill of a business so it can keep its workers on the payroll rather than having them join a lengthening dole queue.

Mr Morrison said it wasn’t a question of just “cutting and pasting” what other countries were doing and that the government had been working to find a scheme to fit with Australia’s system.

He asked businesses to hold off on any further decisions until they see the measures the government will be announcing in the next few days.

“We will be ensuring also that those who have already gone into this very devastating situation, where they have had to stand down workers, that any measures that we’re announcing will be taking them on as well,” he said.

Labor’s industrial relation’s spokesman Tony Burke said a wage subsidy needed to be implemented urgently.

“It has to be enough of a subsidy to give a real incentive to employers to keep people in their jobs,” he said in Sydney.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said having doubled the level of income support under the JobSeeker payment, the government was also going to ease restrictions in terms of partner income.

This would ensure that those with partners who are seeking support would not be negatively affected.

The current partner income test kicks in once a partner earns more than $48,000.

Several major companies including Qantas, Virgin Australia and Myer, and smaller companies – particularly in the hospitality and retail industries – have already stood down tens of thousands of workers.

Former ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said the crisis had rapidly become an employment problem.

“I think a wage subsidy is critical at this juncture … because we have such a significant amount of jobs losses,” Mr Hogan told Sky News.

Treasury had estimated the impact of the coronavirus would see an additional one million people out of work, but already firms are shedding or have stood down between 60 to 90 per cent of their staff.

“I think very quickly we can talk about over a million jobs being lost. It looks like we are going to get through that in very short order,” Mr Hogan said.

“I think by the time we get to Easter we are going to probably see about 1.5 to 1.8 million job losses due to stand downs.

That would see the unemployment rate soar from 5.1 per cent as of February to somewhere above, between 15 and 17 per cent.”

© AAP 2020

Queensland border crossing already moving much faster

The border crossing seems to be going much smoother this morning, with hundreds of people applying for online permits.

Motorists are still having to queue on the M1, though traffic checks on the Gold Coast Highway seem to be flowing.

Yesterday, commuters had to wait over an hour to get through check points, having to answer questions about their intentions in the state.

Overnight, hundreds of people who had essential reasons to cross the border, such as for work or medical appointments, were able to obtain permits online through the Queensland Government website.

They’re now being waved through checkpoints rather than having to answer questions.

Authorities are yet to confirm the number of permits just yet.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey says it already seems to be getting easier.

“We didn’t want to stop was the people getting to work across the border, and just doing those basic things that they need to do.

“What we do want to stop is the holiday makers and the vacationers, this is not a time to be doing the usual holiday things,” Minister Bailey said.

Meantime, The Byron Bay Shire Mayor Simon Richardson has called on the NSW government to close the border in the other direction, so that Queenslanders can be stopped coming into New South Wales.

Tweed Mayor Katie Milne has also backed those calls.

At the moment, those with Queensland number plates can still travel relatively freely over the border.

For more information about navigating the border crossing, click here.

Huge delays for motorists as Queensland’s border shuts

Massive lines are forming at the New South Wales border this morning, after Queensland shut itself off from the rest of the country.

Queensland Police have set up RBT style roadblocks along the M1, and the Gold Coast Highway.

Barriers are also in place to try and stop people driving over the border via streets like Bay Street and Florence Street.

Trucks and postal vans are being waved through, while those who need to cross for essential reasons like work or medical appointments are waiting to be checked by police.

There is now an online portal for people to apply for exemptions, which can be found here.

Motorists are experiencing lengthy delays at the crossings, with traffic banked right up on all fronts.

IMAGE | Google maps

Those who have essential reasons to be travelling between the two states, with eventually be issued with permits, that will make crossings easier.

While those who may be returning to the state, or any other interstate travellers will now be forced to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether they show symptoms of the coronavirus or not.

Anyone found to be ignoring these directives could face fines of more than $13,000.

Police have planned to remain at the border for months.

It’s the first time in over a century that the border has been closed.

1029 Hot Tomato’s Big Trev lined up for over an hour to try and get through, and says he was asked a number of questions before being allowed to pass.

“Where you going? What’s your business in Queensland? And if you’ve got a legitimate reason to be over there, like for work, or you’ve got a business over there, or you work in a hospital, then you can go across.

“If you don’t have a legitimate excuse they turn you around.

“I didn’t have the permit – I didn’t know what the go was.

“All I have to do is print it off tonight and then away we go – I’ll just put it on the windscreen then away we go.

“There’s still a bit of a wait, I’m not saying you’re going to get though straight away, but once you’ve got that permit in there, it’s a lot quicker for you,” Big Trev said.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll was there observing operations this morning, and has thanked everybody for their co-orperation.

“A big shout out to the community – a big thank you for that.

“Also to the members of my organisation, who’ve been very flexible and agile in putting all of this together in very, very short time frames,” Commissioner Carroll said.

Related article: Everything you need to know about Qld’s strict new border rules

PM announces further shutdowns, travel bans in bid to slow virus spread

The Prime Minister has announced a raft of tough new restrictions in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus with large weddings and funerals among the new things to be banned.

But leaders have resisted ordering a broad lockdown of the country, or a widespread closure of schools.

The Government has also put a complete stop to overseas travel with the current “do not travel” advice upgraded to a total travel ban.

There will be exceptions for essential travel, including for overseas employment, aid work and on compassionate grounds.

The new measures follow a meeting of the National Cabinet on Tuesday night and the announcement of the first round of restrictions on Sunday night.

“I said in the parliament that 2020 for most Australians was going to be their toughest year and what we’ve seen unfold this week has been demonstrating just that,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Australians that have lost their jobs lost hours of work, businesses that have been forced to close their businesses, these are heartbreaking events in our nation’s history and story.”

Weddings will still be allowed to be conducted but will be restricted to just the couple, the celebrant and witnesses.

Funerals will be restricted to no more than 10 people.

Mr Morrison admits these measures in particular will be very difficult.

“This is not an easy decision. Where we have already found some of the events that have been some of the major transmitting events, it has been exactly these types of events, particularly weddings and that is why, regretfully, we have to be able to put these arrangements in place.”

Other non-essential services that will be forced to close from midnight Wednesday include:

  • Food courts in shopping centres, except to provide takeaway
  • Auctions, gatherings in auction rooms, real estate auctions and open house inspections
  • Personal services including beauty therapy, waxing, tanning, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas and massage parlours excluding health related services
  • Amusement parks, arcades, outdoor and indoor play centres, community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, spas and wellness centres
  • Social sporting activities
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres, swimming pools, community facilities including halls and PCYC’s.

Outdoor and indoor markets with the exception of food markets also face being shut down with States and Territories to make decisions in their own jurisdictions.

Hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to continue trading but must adhere to the one person per four square metre rule and must limit customers’ time in their premises to no more than 30 minutes.

Personal training and boot camps will also be allowed to continue but with a maximum of 10 people.

“You can see what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to limit the gathering of people in large numbers that can relate to the transmitting of the virus through those social interactions.”

“Stay at home”

The National Cabinet has opted not to follow the UK’s lead and force everyone to stay at home at this stage, but has urged people to do it anyway.

“Stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary that you go out. Going out for the basics, going out for an exercise, perhaps with your partner or family members, that’s fine.”

Mr Morrison has also urged people who are not already working from home to do so where possible.

The States and Territories will consider their own measures to ban house parties, but the Prime Minister has urged people to keep visitor numbers to their homes to a minimum.

“We don’t want to be overly specific about that, we want Australians to exercise their commonsense so that means bbqs, or lots of friends or even family, extended family, coming together, to celebrate one-year-old birthday parties and all those sort of things, we cant do those things now.”

Schools to stay open

Schools will continue to remain open despite increasing pressure for a nationwide shutdown.

“The medical expert advice on schools has not changed. It is safe to send your children to school.”

However the Prime Minister will meet with education unions tomorrow to discuss further arrangements including more distance education.

“That importantly, keep schools open, that will also protect those teachers and other staff that are working in schools, and to work through those issues so we can put acceptable arrangements in place to ensure children get taught.”