First ever Communist Party member elected to council was Frederick Paterson in 1939
During the late 1930s, the Communist Party continued to grow rapidly in North Queensland, with Paterson at the forefront. He played a significant role in the union movement in the sugar industry during a key strike over workplace conditions, and became involved in the anti-fascist movement.
In 1939, Paterson stood successfully as an alderman for the Townsville City Council, becoming the first member of the Communist Party to win such an office in Australia. He went on to be the first and only Communist Party member elected to the Queensland Parliament, representing Bowen in 1944.