ACT Legislative Assembly casual vacancy announced to replace Meegan Fitzharris

Published 12 Jul 2019

The name of the candidate elected to replace Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA, member of Yerrabi, in the ACT Legislative Assembly should be known by Monday 22 July 2019, the ACT Electoral Commissioner, Mr Damian Cantwell AM, announced today.

The Electoral Commissioner has received official notification of the casual vacancy from the acting Speaker of the Assembly, Ms Vicki Dunne MLA. Ms Meegan Fitzharris formally resigned from the Assembly on Monday 08 July 2019.

“I am now able to outline the official timetable for filling the Legislative Assembly vacancy”, Mr Cantwell said.

Legislative Assembly vacancies are filled by conducting a ‘countback’ of those ballot papers that elected the vacating member.  In effect, those electors who voted for Ms Fitzharris determine her replacement.

“To begin the countback process, an advertisement will appear today, Friday 12 July 2019, in the Canberra Times, inviting candidates who unsuccessfully stood in the Yerrabi electorate at the 2016 election to contest the vacancy.  Where practicable the Commission will also notify all those unsuccessful candidates directly,” Mr Cantwell said.

Those candidates now have ten days to indicate if they wish to contest the vacancy. Applications from candidates must be received by 12:00 noon on Monday 22 July 2019.

“At 12:30 pm on 22 July 2019, the names of the candidates contesting the vacancy will be officially declared.  A computer counting program will then be used to determine which candidate will be elected to the Assembly to replace Ms Fitzharris,” Mr Cantwell said.

It is expected that the official declaration of the result will take place the following Tuesday, 23 July 2019, at 3:00 pm.

Members of the media are invited to attend these two events. They will take place at the ACT Legislative Assembly, 196 London Circuit, Civic Square, Canberra City.