Ban roadside electoral signs ahead of next ACT election, say Greens

Australian Greens

A year out from the next ACT election, the ACT Greens have today called for a ban on roadside electoral signs during local election campaigns.

Under current laws, there is no limit to the number of roadside electoral corflutes that can be used in the ACT – seeing thousands of plastic roadside corflutes flood the streets of Canberra six weeks out from recent ACT elections.

“For many Canberrans, roadside electoral signs are supremely annoying, and distracting. Once the election is over, we can only assume that most of these end up going straight into landfill,” Greens Democracy spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur said today.

“When it comes to cleaning up our democracy and restoring trust in our political system, the Greens continue to set the agenda and the standard.

“There are far more effective ways for political parties to get their message across without visual pollution cluttering up our public space.

“To make matters worse, there is currently no limit on how many signs can be displayed in any one area. If you’re driving along and there are dozens of election signs along the roads, it’s both annoying and distracting for drivers.

“Many of the signs are largely policy-free – it’s not as though they are informative. It’s time to get rid of these annoying electoral signs – they’re a huge turn off for the community and are a huge waste of plastic.”

The ACT Electoral Commission’s report on the Legislative Assembly Election in 2016 noted that social media “indicated a relatively widespread degree of dissatisfaction with the proliferation of campaign signs (principally the signs on stakes known as corflutes) across Canberra’s main roads and suburban streets” – but stopped short of recommending that the roadside electoral signs be banned entirely.

At the last federal election in May 2019, the Greens did not use roadside electoral signage – instead, corflutes were displayed in private yards or held by volunteers for limited times. This avoided the waste of thousands of plastic corflutes being destroyed often within hours of being erected.

Of the corflutes that the Greens do use, these end up being recycled in a range of different ways – including as house insulation, building chooks sheds, as habitat for local wombats or painted over for protest signs.

The proposal comes as the Greens proposed in September to establish a truth in electoral advertising scheme to stop factually incorrect electoral material and claims during local elections.

The ACT Greens have long been the party of integrity in the ACT. That’s why we have worked to:

  • Establish an ACT Integrity Commission to investigate and expose corruption
  • Tackle shady lobbying through electoral donations reform
  • Overhaul Freedom of Information (FOI) laws to shine a light into Government, and
  • Established Officers of the Parliament to ensure independent bodies can hold Government to account.

Statement ends

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