LGAQ warns against use of neg­a­tive cam­paign­ing in coun­cil elec­tions

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

“SLEAZE has no place in lo­cal coun­cil elec­tion cam­paigns.”

This is the mes­sage from the Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land.

The LGAC has warned peo­ple en­gag­ing in such be­hav­iour that the com­mu­nity is sick of neg­a­tive and sleazy cam­paign­ing ahead of the March 19 lo­cal coun­cil poll.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Hal­lam said some elec­tion races were in dan­ger of be­ing hi­jacked by those who be­lieved spread­ing lies and false­hoods about their political op­po­nents was the key to suc­cess at the bal­lot box.

Mr Hal­lam again backed Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion chair Al­lan MacS­por­ran’s call for any­one bring­ing al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing to the CCC to keep them con­fi­den­tial.

“Over the past few weeks there have been some claims made in the con­text of the elec­tions that are plainly aimed at dam­ag­ing in­di­vid­ual rep­u­ta­tions and smear­ing coun­cils,” he said, not­ing cases af­fect­ing some coun­cils where politi­cians had used the cover of par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege and in­for­ma­tion had been leaked.

“It’s time to stop the rot and re­mem­ber that a clean elec­tion cam­paign is the only good cam­paign in the minds of the com­mu­nity,” he said.

Here in the Whit­sun­days, mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney has been re­ferred to the CCC and cleared. Last week, the Whit

sun­day Times re­ported the lo­cal ratepay­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion was in the process of re­fer- ring cur­rent deputy mayor An­drew Will­cox, who has also pro­fessed his in­no­cence and re­ferred to the ac­cu­sa­tions as “the sil­li­est al­le­ga­tion I’ve ever heard”.

Both cases have sur­rounded the con­tro­ver­sial sale of coun­cil land at Water­son Way and the sub­se­quent pro­posal for a Chi­na­town de­vel­op­ment on the site.

Cr Whit­ney was ac­cused of favour­ing the de­vel­oper and Cr Will­cox of favour­ing “a friend”.

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