Ballot draw reveals surprise candidates for Bundy, Burnett
THE Bundaberg and Burnett ballot draw revealed more than just positions, with a number of surprise candidates announced for both electorates.
Ballot draws are conducted at random and decide what order candidates are in on a ballot paper when it comes time to vote.
Prior to today's ballot draw, locals had speculated that Greens and Palmer candidates might be afoot - but there was an air of mystery.
Signs in town urged voters to choose the Greens, while Clive Palmer's United Australia Party had delivered flyers to letterboxes, but no candidates had come forward.
All was revealed in the ballot draw as Bundaberg candidates the incumbent David Batt (LNP) and Tom Smith (ALP) joined Burnett candidates the incumbent Stephen Bennett (LNP) and Paul Hudson (KAP) to watch.
In Bundaberg, the first place on the ballot paper went to the Leagalise Cannabis Party's Ian Zunker, with a Greens candidate, Claire Ogden in second place.
Shane Smeltz was revealed as the Palmer UAP's candidate with third place.
The forth place candidate was another surprise, Stewart Jones, who will run for Pauline Hanson's One Nation.
Incumbent Mr Batt and Labor's Mr Smith took fifth and sixth positions respectively.
In Burnett, surprise candidates were announced for the Greens, Labor, One Nation and an independent.
The Greens' Liam Johns took first position on the ballot paper, with independent and former Hinkler candidate Ric Glass in second position.
In third place, One Nation's Geoffrey Mansell and following, incumbent Mr Bennett.
Elizabeth Case is fifth, and is running for the Informed Medical Options Party.
Labor's Kerri Morgan was announced in sixth place, while Mr Hudson took the final spot.
The NewsMail caught up with the candidates who attended the ballot draw to ask how they were feeling in the lead-up to the election on October 31.
Mr Batt said he was hoping the people of Bundaberg would back him for what would be his second term.
"It brings it closer to home again, obviously with we know we've got six people in so three new people as well," he said.
"All the best to everybody. Hopefully for the last three years as Bundy's representative I feel like I've done a great job representing people and supporting what they've had to say so I'll be looking forward to another four years of that if I can.
"But we also need the people of Bundy to support me to get there and I think obviously we need a change in government … we just need to get Queensland working again."
Mr Smith condemned the LNP over frontline services, and said he was looking forward to the election.
"I'm just very, very excited about this upcoming election," he said.
"I think there's a very clear choice for the people of Bundaberg to back in a stable, strong Annastacia Palaszczuk Labor government that is investing in frontline services like health and education and investing in jobs …," he said.
"Good luck to everyone."
Mr Bennett said the ballot draw had seen his electorate jump from having three known candidates to seven, but he welcomed the competition.
"Finally after only having a couple of candidates in the field, we now have seven," he said.
"We welcome the contest and of course democracy's a wonderful thing and I think it's particularly important that Labor finally - with three weeks to go - have finally put someone up to answer for the horrific five years we've had under the Palaszczuk Labor government.
"Hopefully on the 31st of October people will see through the nonsense and we can get Queensland working again."
KAP's Mr Hudson said he was hoping to see support for a balance of power.
"We need the balance of power so that we can ensure there's meaningful change and meaningful direction in government," he said.
"Because what's happening right now is not acceptable and if we can get the balance of power we can see some meaningful and positive change in this state."
Early voting opens in the old Blockbuster building from 9am, Monday, October 19.