STOP THE SLEAZE
LGAQ warns against use of negative campaigning in council elections
“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”.