Anti-Adani campaigner Chris "Pineapple" Hooper won't automatically assume the role of mayor in Rockhampton after the Queensland government retrospectively changed council succession laws.
State laws elevating runners-up to mayor upon a vacancy in the first 12 months of a term were brought in earlier this year to deter councillors from running for state parliament.
Changing the law to fill vacancies with a by-election was one of the first orders of business for the re-elected Palaszczuk government, which it did by passing amendments to the local government act on Wednesday.
When asked if problems with the automatic succession provision should have been foreseen, Treasurer Cameron Dick said the government had listened to the people of Rockhampton.
"There was genuine outrage at the idea of this happening. So we responded, we changed the law. And we think that will lead to a better democratic outcome," he said.
Former Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow stood down in November after the state's Council Conduct Tribunal found her guilty of misconduct.
Under the old rules, Mr Hooper was next in line despite receiving just over 30 per cent of the vote to Ms Strelow's 69 per cent in the March election.
Announcing plans to retrospectively change the rules, former local government minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Ms Strelow's resignation "came out of the blue" and a number of local councillors had run in the October state election.
"It obviously didn't prove to be a disincentive as it was intended," he said last month.
Australian Associated Press