A POLITICAL sign telling passers by to "Stop Safe Schools sexualising QLD children" and "put Labor last" has grabbed the Gladstone Regional Council's attention after a resident made a complaint.
Yesterday, Gladstone Region Safe Communities shared two photos on Facebook of a notice given by the council following the formal complaint.
"Just in case you thought our council was not partisan...? This notice was found on the trailer by the volunteer placing the Marriage Alliance banner around town," a post on social media read.
But when asked about Gladstone Regional Council's capacity to monitor political signage, a council spokesperson said the matter would require review as to why the notice was issued and that "council does not monitor temporary political signs during state elections".
Instead, The Observer was told it was up to the Electoral Commission Queensland.
The notice left on the political sign stated that "as a political sign, it (was) required to meet general criteria by being of high design quality and constructed of quality materials which can be maintained in a neat, clean and tidy manner at all times".
When The Observer inquired as to what "general criteria" and "high design quality" political signs were required to possess and which materials qualified as "quality materials", the spokesperson said "council's relevant legislation (did) not contain any definitions for the terms".
The spokesperson added that "as per the Local Government Act 2009, Council's cannot legally make a local law about Election Advertising".
The act states:
Division 3, Section 36 Election advertising
(1) A local government must not make a local law that-
- (a) prohibits or regulates the distribution of how-to-vote cards; or
- (b) prohibits the placement of election signs or posters.
(2) A how-to-vote card includes a how-to-vote card under the Electoral Act.
(3) An election sign or poster is a sign or poster that is able, or is intended, to-
- (a) influence a person about voting at any government election; or
- (b) affect the result of any government election.
(4) A government election is an election for a local, State or Commonwealth government.
(5) A local law, to the extent that it is contrary to this section, has no effect.
The spokesperson said that council was not at liberty to discuss this particular matter due to its Privacy Act but that if any members of the community believed their right to place an election sign had been impeded, to contact council's Local Laws Section to register their concerns and seek possible rectification.