Hinkler campaign manager Rod Wilson and Federal Member Paul Neville with one of the signs.
Hinkler campaign manager Rod Wilson and Federal Member Paul Neville with one of the signs.

Candidates get a new look

THE Federal election campaign turned ugly yesterday after vandals attacked the signs of Member for Hinkler Paul Neville and Labor Party candidate Belinda McNeven with a can of black spray-paint.

Erected near Kendalls Flat, one of Mr Neville's signs was painted entirely black except for his eyes and on another Mr Neville's eyes were blackened and large squiggles drawn from his head.

Ms McNeven did not fare any better, with an eye patch added to one sign and on another corflute a quite impressive beard was added to Ms McNeven's features.

“Obviously vandalism is not okay, ever,” she said. “If people want to protest against policies they are quite welcome to do that lawfully.”

Ms McNeven said she had signs vandalised previously, with the addition of a moustache and glasses.

“I've had a few stolen over the years and I just always assume it's in good fun,” she said.

Mr Neville was also no stranger to having signs defaced with a number of corflutes destroyed in the 2007 election.

One incident resulted in two people being fined and prosecuted.

“This particular attack involved someone going haywire with a spray can, wrecking both sides of the sign,” he said.

“These signs can cost more than $30 a pop, so it's an expensive exercise for any campaign to have to constantly replace corflutes which have been vandalised.”

Mr Neville said people needed to recognise the value of election material and that defacing corflutes was an offence.

“It would be much appreciated if anyone who witnesses an attack on my corflutes could report the incident to my office on 1300 130 238.”

Since Saturday, Mr Neville's signs had also been defaced on Gahns Road, the corner of Elliott Heads Road and FE Walker Street, the Bundaberg East State School roundabout, at the corner of Sims and Elliott Heads roads and in Bundaberg North.



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