CANDIDATE Q&A: How coronavirus has affected candidates’ campaigns.
CANDIDATE Q&A: How coronavirus has affected candidates’ campaigns.

COUNCIL Q&A: Pandemic changes campaigning process

THE future of the Southern Downs will be decided at the local government elections on March 28.

Prospective councillors don’t require any formal qualifications but the Queensland Electoral Commission suggests an active interest in community issues, good communication and negotiation skills, and business or financial management skills.

In the lead-up to the mandatory elections The Daily News aims to provide daily insight into candidates’ experiences, ideas, visions and priorities.

Candidates will receive a question each weekday, for which they will have 24 hours to respond, within a word limit, before the paper goes to print.

Should these councillors receive the public vote, they will have no shortage of issues with which to contend.

Fires, drought and potential flooding posed complex problems­ for the region over the past 12 months, and with a global pandemic looming, there are greater challenges to come.

This question asked,

How will the coronavirus pandemic change the way you conduct your election campaign?

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

Tracy Dobie
Tracy Dobie

DOBIE, Tracy

“The safety of our community is paramount. I have already heeded the advice of the Department of Health and changed the way I am campaigning. I have minimised contact by keeping a 1.5m distance from residents while at the polling booths. I have stopped offering brochures to residents and I will not attend gatherings of over 100 people. It has been disappointing to see candidates and their representatives blatantly ignoring the advice of Health professionals, putting the lives of our residents at risk and then verbally attacking myself and others who have chosen to abide by Department of Health guidelines.”

Joe Doepel.
Joe Doepel.

DOEPEL, Joe

“Yes it will have to change a fair bit. Will have to do the miles and try and meet and create a few on the out skirts, that have now missed out due to the cancellations they have missed out in the passed and will now feel like they a forgotten. They can always ring me to talk about their issues.”

Peter Kemp.
Peter Kemp.

KEMP, Peter

“It is prudent to take advise from the government directives, so we can all limit the effect of this health issue. There are no cases in this area at the moment, however that can change overnight so we will monitor the instructions. This is a relief for us to be a bit insulated from the world. In the meantime we can respect the Department of Health recommendations of safe contact.”

Vic Pennisi
Vic Pennisi

PENNISI, Vic

“I think we start by not causing unnecessary alarm, by not posing questions like this one in the media that induce panic among our community. Lets have ONE plan as a nation. I believe we follow the national plan, listen to the experts, not the media, and behave rationally. We will conform to all government and ECQ guidelines as we all should, and not listen to individuals and non-experts who are trying to exert their own personal influence. Keep calm, go and vote, exercise you democratic rights. Wash your hands.”

COUNCILLOR CANDIDATES

Paola Cabezas Bono.
Paola Cabezas Bono.

CARBEZAS, Paola

“I always follow the QEC information and recommendations. I will be visible on the street as I still want to be accessible to voter if they want to talk to me.

I am also doing live videos at 6.00pm every day on Facebook.

The exercise of our democratic right to vote is very important to me, and with the uncertainty we face every day with the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines, please vote sooner than later.”

Robert Ettery
Robert Ettery

ETTERY, Robert

“The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a huge impact on my campaign. Since Sunday, I have been in self-isolation at home. I don’t think I have the virus, but I am also not eligible for the COVID-19 Test either. So, under doctor’s and Queensland Health’s instructions, I have been self-isolating. The result has been I have had to cancel all meetings, meet the candidate events and anything that requires me to venture outside of the house. I have relied on others to help the campaign.”

Andrew Gale.
Andrew Gale.

GALE, Andrew

I will follow the advice of the ECQ at all times. ECQ have suggested static displays/handouts outside polling places, which I have now put in place at Stanthorpe, but we can’t at Warwick because of by-laws.

I’m calling on sdrc to relax their application of local law 1.4 so that we could place an A-frame at the Warwick town hall.

I’m willing to loan A-frame to any other candidates as well as brochure holders that can attach to them. I’ll even set them up.

Just need sdrc to make a sensible relaxation of this law due to this current health emergency. “

Marco Gliori.
Marco Gliori.

GLIORI, Marco

“Based on the latest Government advice, I have not attended polling booths, other than to vote, and won’t be. I have severely restricted my public presence. Instead I am fielding questions via phone and email. ‘She’ll be right’ or ‘don’t be a wuss’ are admirable Aussie attributes but not in this case. Caution.”

Cameron Gow
Cameron Gow

GOW, Cameron

“With COVID-19 increasing it’s reach around the world communities are being encouraged to limit contact with one another. With 475 deaths reported in one day in Italy it does stand to have an impact in our region at some stage. A directive issued last night to candidates from ECQ suggests that limiting contact by reducing the number of volunteers handing out how to vote cards is recommended in the second last dot point of the directive. As such I won’t be having volunteers, friends or family handing out how to vote cards.”

Greg Grant.
Greg Grant.

GRANT, Greg

“I have had concerns about the dangers of all election activities spreading COVID-19 from the beginning of its detection – especially for those who are most susceptible. When it was suggested that candidates modify their methods of campaigning, I felt it was my civic responsibility to immediately: Stop handing out How to Vote material and restricting Polling Place activity to use of signs only. Stop attending Polling Places (other than to put signs up and down. Stop shaking hands with electors. Spending more time and attention on writing for print and online media.”

Jenn Greene-Galloway.
Jenn Greene-Galloway.

GREENE-GALLOWAY, Jenn

“Under current circumstances it was not my intention to organise supporters or myself to attend polling booths handing out HTV cards when taking into consideration social distancing guidelines, ECQ have now also given directive to cease this activity. It’s unfortunate, but I also won’t be attending any further public/private campaign invitations/activities/gatherings. Avoiding transmission to the public/myself & family is front & centre over any campaigning, we’re all in this together, so let’s be considerate to one another, particularly the elderly & immunocompromised within our community.”

Amanda Harrold
Amanda Harrold

HARROLD, Amanda Joy

“As of Thursday evening, the ECQ issued a directive to candidates and campaign workers about hygiene and social distancing practices. I of course will adhere to this directive.”

Max Hunter
Max Hunter

HUNTER, Max

“The coronavirus Pandemic situation has not and will affect the way I carry out my election campaign as I respect the right s and privacy of the voter, the people who, in our democratic way of life are the people we serve to the best of our ability. As a candidate, we must keep our distance at all times and not force our presence on people, by insisting they accept a ballot cad, as most informed voters generally know who to vote for. By all means supply relevant information should they, the voter require it, and then give them their space.”

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen

JENSEN, Michael Damian

“I believe all candidates should abide by the advice and safe practices set by the Qld Electoral Commission. I have not had a presence at polling booths at this point in time, however I do not wish to prevent any other candidate from doing so, as long as they are meeting the advice and safe practises set by the Government agencies. They are not breaking any electoral laws or rules in doing so in my opinion. I will be guided by the Qld Electoral Commission and its officers on the way I conduct my election campaign and activity.”

Greg Johnson.
Greg Johnson.

JOHNSON, Gregory Glenn

“I have had concerns about the dangers of all election activities spreading COVID-19 from the beginning of its detection – especially for those who are most susceptible. When it was suggested that candidates modify their methods of campaigning, I felt it was my civic responsibility to immediately: Stop handing out How to Vote material and restricting Polling Place activity to use of signs only. Stop attending Polling Places (other than to put signs up and down. Stop shaking hands with electors. Spending more time and attention on writing for print and online media.”

Julia Keogh
Julia Keogh

KEOGH, Julia

“The Electoral Commission of Queensland has thanked the demonstrated effort from candidates who have acknowledged and responded to the need to limit the number of candidate and support workers at pre-polling booths. My support team and I agree that the only responsible way to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is to limit opportunities for the spread of this highly infectious disease. Therefore, neither myself nor my supporters will be on site at pre-polling booths. I am however, available to discuss issues of importance to you.”

Rod Kelly.
Rod Kelly.

KELLY, Rod

“I had already decided I would not distribute How To Vote material during pre-polling and on Election Day. My decision was based on the heightening of the COVID-19 risk and warnings from accredited medical authorities. I made that decision. I was not wanting the State Medical Officer or Electoral Commission to make that decision for me. My concern is particularly for infants, expectant mothers and the elderly. Every one is susceptible and at risk, including the candidates. Candidates have a duty of care to residents health and wellbeing at polling booths, campaign meetings and other public gatherings.”

Barbara Marsden.
Barbara Marsden.

MARSDEN, Barbara

“With respect to the COVID-19 virus, we were canvassed as a group of candidates, to consider not being present at the polling booths to offer brochures or speaking to the public. Keeping our space from the electors and visa versa, is paramount to the control of disease. The majority of the candidates responded to comply with requests. Our collective health is more important than the campaign. It is miserable to not accept the publics hugs and handshakes but complying with good sense takes over. I have agreed to not canvass from the pre polling centres to avoid any chance of transmission of the virus.”

Jo McNally.
Jo McNally.

MCNALLY, Jo

“I made the decision last weekend that I would not be attending pre-polling to hand out my brochure and I want to commend Lewis Von Steiglitz for taking the initiative to ask all candidates to refrain from touching and handing out their brochures to voters at pre-polling, as there are many vulnerable people in our community that need to be protected.”

Glyn Rees
Glyn Rees

REES, Glyn

“The coronavirus situation has certainly changed how I am approaching this election compared to those previous I have contested.

I am taking the advice of the recognised authority bodies and adjusting my activities and approach accordingly.

That includes being aware of and respectful of community members concerns, privacy and their personal expectations on the matter.”

Yve Stocks
Yve Stocks

STOCKS, Yve

“My Campaign Office is open to anyone who wants to drop in. 107 Palmerin St Warwick. If the doors are not open, it means I am somewhere else in the region, calling on the businesses. With only 1 week left, I believe most voters have made up their mind about who to vote for. Most people will pre-poll, especially given the extra hours to do so. This health crisis is a good reason to have postal voting in the future.”

Russell Wantling.
Russell Wantling.

WANTLING, Russell

“Obviously there are new rules put into place and these are changing day to day. Having said that I will still be talking to people, listening to their concerns and trying to come up with solutions that will work for entire region. While our region my slow down a little, now is not the time to forget what we’re fighting for. This will pass and we must have a plan to grow economy, improve our region and put a sense of pride back into our residence.”

Sheryl Windle.
Sheryl Windle.

WINDLE, Sheryl

“The good health of residents is far more important than this election campaign. I believe that it is my civic duty to abide by the recommendations and/or directives from the Health Department and ECQ, to minimise the risk to others.”



NEW LOOK: Fresh faces to join saleyards committee

Premium Content NEW LOOK: Fresh faces to join saleyards committee

Five industry heavyweights have been endorsed by the SDRC as the voices of the...

NAMED: Everyone appearing in court today

Premium Content NAMED: Everyone appearing in court today

A full list of who is listed to face charges in Warwick District Court, updated...

Shed, caravan on fire at Southern Downs property

Premium Content Shed, caravan on fire at Southern Downs property

Several emergency crews were called to the scene this morning.