Reduce the number of signs used in ACT elections
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During ACT Legislative Assembly elections, the use of ‘core-flute’ and other such Electoral Advertising Signs (Movable Signs) promoting candidates and parties has become problematic. The signs:
- are used in excessive quantities;
- are a wasteful use of resources;
- detract from the amenity and value of public spaces;
- are an eyesore for the citizens of the ACT;
- potentially cause a danger to safety along roadsides due to the large numbers in use and associated driver distraction;
- trigger anti-social behavior and vandalism toward them from members of the public as well as from rival election candidates and party members/supporters. We should instead be encouraging respectful, fair, professional and amicable competition between community members during elections;
- create disparities and inequality between marketing, awareness and promotion of candidates due to the cost of sign production as well as differences in financial resources of candidates and parties. The larger the candidate/party election marketing budget, the more signs they can afford – this is resulting in a ‘signage arms-race’, reducing ability for all members of the community to participate equally in elections;
- are suggestive of ‘abuse-of-position’, ‘entitlement-mentality’ and ‘opportunity-disparity’ since election signs have the most flexible and least-restrictive provisions in the ACT Movable Signs code of practice. It appears that members of the legislative assembly and election candidates could be treating themselves as a privileged group above all others in the community by having such entitlements in the code of practice;
Your petitioners therefore request the ACT Legislative Assembly to:
- Change the legislation to restrict the number and time limit of Electoral Advertising Signs (Movable Signs) down to the same level as Community Signs in the current Public Unleased Land (Movable Signs) Code of Practice 2013 (No 1)*, Disallowable Instrument DI2013—144 made under the Public Unleased Land Act 2013, section 27 (Movable signs code of practice).
That is, group Electoral Advertising Signs together with Community Signs under section 6 (3) which provides for a maximum of twenty (20) movable signs for a period of two (2) weeks prior to the election.
- Set the restriction group at the political party and independent level for each electorate, not the individual candidate level.
In other words, twenty (20) movable signs per group per electorate, where group is defined as being either a political party or independent, regardless of number of individual candidates in a multi-candidate party for the electorate.
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