Mayor calls on candidates to keep campaign fair and honest

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It’s important that candidates for the upcoming election are respectful and debate in a responsible way, says Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington.

This follows the release of a decision by the Independent Council Election Observer regarding statements made by a candidate in the upcoming Noosa local government election.

“The claims made by Noosa councillor candidate Amelia Lorentson on her Facebook page were brought to my attention,” Mayor Wellington said.

“On reading the social media posts, I discovered that Ms Lorentson had not only impugned the integrity of staff but also the Noosa councillors, claiming that they had breached the Councillor Code of Conduct.

“As I considered the claims to be false, I referred the matter to the Independent Council Election Observer (ICEO) for an impartial fact check. The ICEO has been established by the Local Government Association of Queensland and is headed by retired judge John Robertson. The decision of the ICEO has now corroborated my submission.

“In my role as Mayor, I take responsibility for maintaining the good reputation of the Council. Thus my decision to refer this matter to the ICEO.

“All manner of nonsense, including defamatory statements and vile conspiracy theories about Council and Councillors, is being peddled on a daily basis through social media. Much of this goes unchallenged. However, it is a different matter when untrue statements are made by a candidate standing for election as a politician and thus seeking endorsement as a community leader.

“I have no problem with robust debate during an election campaign. Indeed, such debate is vital to democracy. However, it is a different matter if candidates make unsubstantiated claims about Council and Councillors that have no basis in fact.

“Retired judge John Robertson, who heads the ICEO, was very clear in his findings on this particular matter. His determination should act as a caution to all candidates about making attacks on Council or even other candidates. Let’s keep this election campaign fair and honest.”

The findings of the ICEO are made public on their website at iceo.net.au.

 
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