Attorney-General issues new advice for voters
VOTERS had a clear run to the ballot boxes today after a ban of candidates and volunteers directly handing out election material at pre poll centres.
As the number of new coronavirus infections grew by another 40 in Queensland today, new tougher restrictions at voting centres were introduced.
At the Deception Bay early voting centre, candidates had united to set up tables which contained election material for each division.
And at one point today, four of five candidates for mayor were on the ground at the same time at Deception Bay - Eric Shields, Peter Flannery, Dean Teasdale and Adrian Raedel.
Also making an appearance at the centre was Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath, who said she came to see how the coronavirus restrictions had been implemented.
"It's about trying to slow down the spread of this virus in our community," she said.
Ms D'Ath said she was happy with the social distancing measures that candidates had taken at the Deception Bay early voting centre, and urged more voters to vote early.
"We still have to be careful with stuff on tables because people are touching surfaces so my preference is just having how-to-votes displayed," she said.
"But we'll keep following the advice of the ECQ in relation to all of this and the health officials.
"The key message to voters is now come out and vote early. That's why we have extended the hours. That's why pre poll will be open on Saturday.
"Also keep their distance from others. If they do find themselves in line, keep a 1.5m distance from people around you.
"This advice is there for a good reason to really keep that distance.
"Bring their own pen or pencil and bring their id card (that was mailed out today). That will move people through far quicker if they bring their card."
Ms D'Ath said the situation resulting from restrictions to slow the spread of the virus would be in place for months, not weeks.
She said the state government this week passed legislation to give it more options, including
contingency options about postponing the election on March 28, if required.
"But as of today, the advice we are acting on is if we all comply with the measures, then the election can go ahead," she said.
"It's also really important for our local governments, which are in caretaker mode right now.
"We need all three levels of government in a position to help deal with this virus.
"The sooner they are out of caretaker mode and we've got elected officials who can make decisions, the better.
"That's an important factor of having stability at a local government level, the ability to make any decisions they need to help the community."
When it came to parents keeping their children at school, Ms D'Ath said listen to the advice coming from the health officials
"We ask them to follow that advice," she said.
Originally published as Attorney-General issues new advice for voters