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Local Government Candidates urged to conduct honest campaigns

News Release

Monday, 8 February 2016

Local Government Candidates urged to conduct honest campaigns

This is a joint Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) and Local Government Association of Queensland media release.

The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) and the Local Government Association of Queensland have teamed-up to urge candidates for the 2016 local government election to run honest campaigns.

An education campaign was launched today by the CCC and has the full support of the LGAQ. The Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) has announced the nomination period for the 2016 elections has commenced.

The education campaign aims to help candidates be transparent and protect the reputations of themselves and others by stopping false or frivolous complaints being made to the CCC.

CCC Chairman Alan MacSporran QC said while most candidates ran honest campaigns, history indicated there were spikes in the number of complaints to the CCC during local government elections.

“Regrettably our experience has shown that during election campaigns, some candidates have been known to make allegations to the CCC in the hope of gaining some advantage over rival candidates,” Mr MacSporran said.

“Our data indicates that in the weeks prior to and during the 2008 and 2012 local government elections, there was a rise in the number of complaints we received about the local government sector when compared to the yearly average.”

Making baseless complaints to the CCC, and then publicising the fact a complaint has been made, will often cause reputational damage to others and also negatively impact on the person making the complaint. It can also be a criminal offence to knowingly make a complaint that is not true.

“The CCC is not discouraging people from making genuine complaints. We will treat all genuine complaints confidentially and assess them independently and with complete objectivity,” Mr MacSporran said.

“Our advice is simple, be honest and don’t risk your own campaign by making false complaints. Don’t promise special favours in return for election donations or support. Tell the community who is supporting you and declare all gifts and donations.

“Finally, if you do have genuine concerns, we want you to bring them to the CCC confidentially.”

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam warned that election candidates who made vexatious claims against their opponents simply in order to gain a political advantage risked seeing their campaigns seriously backfire.

“Candidates who act in such a way risk damaging the integrity and image of local government as the level of public administration that is closest to the needs and aspirations of the community,’’ Mr Hallam said.

“The community will respect honest and professional behaviour from all election candidates. While political campaigns in Australia are always robust, voters have no tolerance for dishonesty.’’

CCC Chairman Alan MacSporran QC and LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam will address the media at a joint press conference later this morning.

For more information visit: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/LG2016

ENDS

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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