Capalaba LNP candidate Bev Walters slams election signs damage and union campaign donations

CAMPAIGN: Capalaba LNP candidate Bev Walters said election signs had been damaged or stolen.
CAMPAIGN: Capalaba LNP candidate Bev Walters said election signs had been damaged or stolen.

LNP Capalaba candidate Bev Walters has called on Redlanders to defend democracy in Queensland after her LNP party signs were damaged or stolen.

"People tend to accept damaged signage as part and parcel of being involved in an election, however I see it as representing a far greater problem," she said.

Ms Walters said a combination of legislative changes by the Labor state government and property damage was severely hampering the rights of Queenslanders to be informed and to choose their next government democratically.

In 2018 the government implemented Belcarra legislation which prohibited donations from property developers while leaving donations from unions intact.

Ms Walters said that in June this year, Labor pushed through 229 amendments to the Electoral Act.

From August this year, political parties will be limited to a total election spend of $92,000 a seat, meaning no more than $8.5 million can be spent on an entire campaign.

Third-party organisations, including unions, will be able to spend $87,000 in a single electorate, and no more than $1 million statewide.

"While these amendments introduced spending caps on each party, the legislation allows each of the 20 registered unions in Queensland to be viewed as a separate third party, therefore enabling each union in turn to spend the maximum amount per electorate," she said.

Ms Walters said Labor had relaxed the rules regarding pre-election government advertising.

"This now allowed Labor to use public money to promote their own government in advance of the October 31 election.

"Each of the 20 unions are permitted to place four signs at each booth, in addition to the six allowed to the Labor party. That's a total of 86 signs for Labor, opposed to the six signs allowed for the LNP," she said.

Ms Walters said the LNP in Capalaba had lost more than a dozen signs in just one week.

"The signs have been damaged with box-cutters, snapped at the base, or stolen," she said.

"One particular sign on Cumberland Drive has had to be replaced four times in a week.

"Another LNP candidate has had her tyres slashed.

"Property damage is illegal. Damaging or removing signage denies the public their right to be informed when it comes to their choice at elections," she said.

Ms Walters said damage to election signs discouraged people from running as candidates.

Capalaba MP Don Brown said donations towards campaigns was publicly reported on the Electorial Commission Queensland's website.

"I self fund my campaigns through small donors from branch members. All third parties are equal under the laws and the LNP will be receiving donations from employer unions," he said.

With regards to his election signs being damaged, Mr Brown said he had had a few problems but did not suspect rival MPs of being involved with the vandalism.