We’re only a few days into the Council election campaign but already accusations are flying of dirty tricks as potential Councillors jockey for prime position on the city’s nature strips.
Candidates have been busy plastering the city with posters and corflutes since Saturday when the official campaign period kicked off and the claws are well and truly out.
Reports have emerged of election material being stolen, defaced and obscured, sparking name-calling and a complaint to authorities.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
And there’s still more than four weeks to go (*sigh).
Division 12 candidate Cathy Osborne claims she had half her election corflutes stolen on the very first night.
“I well know that during a course of an election campaign signs get vandalised and taken, but for so many signs to disappear on the first night of the campaign, is very suspicious,” Ms Osborne said.
Ms Osborne described the incident as a “childish act” and said no other candidates had their material taken.
However, her campaign team opted not to report the incident to the Electoral Commission.
Fast forward a couple of days and Ms Osborne was left fuming again when corflutes of Division 12 rival Zac Revere appeared, alleging they were obscuring her own material and that of other candidates.
Ms Osborne says she will be making a complaint to the Electoral Commission about this incident, describing it as “immature behaviour”.
But Mr Revere has denied deliberately placing his signs in front of Ms Osborne’s and has offered to remove any that were mistakenly obscuring hers.
“Leadership is about prioritising what’s important and brushing off the little things, if Cathy chooses to invest her time and energy into lodging a complaint to the electoral commission, that’s her prerogative,” Mr Revere said.
Mr Revere said he has also had signs stolen or damaged but had planned for it and there are far more important things to worry about.
“I’m not sure who’s removing or defacing my signs, but let’s be honest: who cares?”
Over in the hotly-contested Division 6, someone’s been busy with the black texta, with posters of candidate Shaelee Welchman given a less than flattering makeover.
“It’s a shame some people resort to this form of intimidation and it’s really disappointing for my campaigners who’ve worked so hard to get them out into the community,” Ms Welchman said.
“There are signs ripped down all over the neighbourhood and signs have gone missing, not just mine but all candidates, which is to be expected.
“What is annoying are signs being put directly in front of others or being moved to jostle for the best positions. It’s a full time job maintaining them.”
In Division 4, a steel fence at Runaway Bay that was covered in posters of Cameron Caldwell was kicked over.
But he was taking it all on the chin.
“Not everyone loves politics or politicians so they take that chance to literally put the boot in,” Mr Caldwell told Seven.
Amen to that.
Know of any other candidates who have been the victim of dirty tricks? Email us: email@example.com