Corflute changes to be recommended for next ACT election

Dominic Giannini 19 October 2020 95
ACT election corflute signs by side of road.

Will the ACT ever have a corflute-free election? Photo: Michelle Kroll.

It’s done. It’s dusted. It’s finally over. The 2020 ACT election is behind us, but many Canberrans are still expressing their disdain for roadside corflutes that continue to litter their suburbs.

Electoral advertising signs must come down within 48 hours of polls closing, meaning any corflute left after 6 pm on Monday, 19 October, is illegal.

But is it possible to have a corflute-free election next time around?

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has taken on some of the feedback from the community and says he will recommend a shorter caretaker and election period to the upcoming parliamentary election review.

“After every election, there is a parliamentary review of the electoral process,” he said. “In terms of corflutes, the parliamentary committee should look at that matter.

“My other priority is that for the ACT election campaign, the formal caretaker period is too long. It is longer than a federal election campaign and I think both the corflute period and the election period could benefit from being a little bit shorter.

“That is something I will put forward to the parliamentary committee that is considering how the 2020 election ran.”

The current corflute period covers the six weeks prior to the election date.

READ MORE: If you’re complaining about corflutes, spare a thought for the minor parties

However, if it is up to the Greens, corflutes will be banned ahead of the next election. With the Greens holding the balance of power again, the policy could form part of the new parliamentary agreement with Labor.

The Greens’ campaign spokesperson for democracy, Emma Davidson, previously called corflutes “a huge turn off for the community and a huge waste of plastic”.

“It is well past time to get rid of these annoying electoral signs,” she said.

Emma Davidson.

Emma Davidson wants to see corflutes banned, and with the Greens holding the balance of power in the ACT again, the policy could form part of the parliamentary agreement. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said the party chose not to put corflutes out there in the community this election, calling them “visual pollution”.

On top of visual pollution, most corflutes end up as actual pollution, said Ms Davidson.

READ MORE: Corflute congestion drives a stake through voters’ hearts

“Once the election is over, we can only assume that most of these end up going straight into landfill,” she said. “What an utter waste.”

The ACT Government is trailling a new corflute recycling scheme from Monday, 19 October, starting with two free drop-off points at Mitchell Resource Management Centre and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre in Symonston.

“Corflute cannot be recycled in your kerbside recycling yellow-lid bin and as there have been no local recycling options, it gets repurposed or goes to waste in landfill,” said ACT NoWaste’s executive branch manager, Anthony Haraldson.

“The ACT Government is pleased to be able to introduce an avenue for ACT businesses and government agencies to recycle their signage and reduce the amount sent to landfill.

“If the trial is successful, the ACT Government will consider options to introduce the service on a longer-term basis.”

The ACT Electoral Commission’s report on the 2016 ACT election noted there was a “relatively widespread degree of dissatisfaction with the proliferation of campaign signs across Canberra’s main roads and suburban streets” but stopped short of recommending roadside electoral signs be banned entirely.

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95 Responses to Corflute changes to be recommended for next ACT election
Dilkera Dilkera 2:49 pm 07 Aug 21

Candidates have a massive excess of corflutes because so many are stolen or damaged during the campaign. In fact quite a number in my area were slashed to pieces with what could only be an axe or tomahawk. The genius who did this made it quite clear which party they represented as only their’s remained.
Electioneering on voting day is extremely difficult as it requires double the number of people to cover both ends of the 100 metre requirement.
Suggest ban both. This will mean candidates will have to use more personal approaches to meet voters. Not a bad thing.

Jackie Allen Jackie Allen 8:16 am 24 Oct 20

Yes ban them. They look so untidy on the roadsides.

Kosher Ayatollah Kosher Ayatollah 9:15 pm 23 Oct 20

The excess proliferation of single use-plastic corflutes has a direct correlation to the fact that the ACT has Robson Rotation in its voting, meaning there is an American-style primary election happening at the same time as the actual election so candidates get name recognition.
Time to ditch Robson Rotation, have parties focus on genuine policies (and get rid of the plastic)

Nate Jennings Nate Jennings 12:42 pm 23 Oct 20

It’s proven you don’t need them with the success of the greens this election.

Robert Lang Robert Lang 6:06 pm 22 Oct 20

The party that had no corflute got the biggest swing towards them. Good on ya Greens!

Robert Lang Robert Lang 6:05 pm 22 Oct 20

If you need corflute to enhance your image then you’ve been doing a terrible job as a politician.

John Coleman John Coleman 9:31 pm 21 Oct 20

The hate is hilarious. They're roadside signs that pop up every 4 years, a reminder we live in a democracy and it's that time again. It's election tradition.

If they stay up after the election, then fines apply. There's also regulation about where you can put them.

The signs do not just end up in landfill; they're usually re-used. You'll sometimes even, if you look close, see a sign with a sticker of a new candidate over an old one.

Ban them indeed. Just grow up.

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 6:07 pm 22 Oct 20

    John Coleman no, they are freshly printed and freshly dumped each election.

    John Coleman John Coleman 6:17 pm 22 Oct 20

    Robert Lang I can't speak for the Robert Lang Party, but I've put up reused signs.

    Robert Lang Robert Lang 6:38 pm 22 Oct 20

    John Coleman I picked up a bunch of (Lib, Lab and Ind) corflute signs after the election (with permission) to use as tree guards. They were all new.

Joesephine Beckett Joesephine Beckett 9:17 pm 21 Oct 20

I hope so, what a waste of resources they are.

Glenn Cullen Glenn Cullen 7:56 pm 21 Oct 20

Ban them or allow 1 per candidate in designated zones.

Anne Bel Anne Bel 6:36 pm 21 Oct 20

Yes please ban them. Basic litter and driver distraction. Waste of tax payers money and no influence on the election process

Paul Murray Paul Murray 3:57 pm 21 Oct 20

Surely no-one votes because of a face on a corflute. How could they? The faces aren’t on the ballot form. If the corfultes aren’t to help the voters vote, who are they for?

The obvious answer is thatthey are for the people whose faces are on them, and people who happen to know them personally. That is, putting out corfultes is the way that a campaign organisation demonstrates to the candidate or party that they are actually busy doing something. They are an ad not for the candidate, but for the people who put corflues up.

It’s amazing how rival campaigns will conduct nighttime operations to remove the other party’s corflutes. It’s magical thinking. It gives them a sense of “woo hoo, we’re winning!”, even when those damn things have nothing whatever to do with the vote.


Lorraine Marsh Lorraine Marsh 6:55 am 21 Oct 20

Ban ALL advertising near roads, they are just a distraction.

If you want to know about politicans, look them up.

Kristi Lee Kristi Lee 6:08 am 21 Oct 20

Getting rid of them didn’t seem to hamper the Greens at all this year... 🤔

Helen Crane Helen Crane 9:54 pm 20 Oct 20

Yes please! Totally unnecessary. Especially groups of ten in a row.

Simone Tiele Simone Tiele 8:10 pm 20 Oct 20

Yes, ban them...

Trevor John Parkinson Trevor John Parkinson 8:07 pm 20 Oct 20

Do you mean assembly

Helen Ritchie Helen Ritchie 7:57 pm 20 Oct 20

Imagine if all that money was donated to charities instead 💰

    Louise Richardson Louise Richardson 9:01 pm 20 Oct 20

    Helen, I couldn’t believe it when I saw them all! They’d be whipped away by council if they lined the streets like that up here

Jill Lee Bee Jill Lee Bee 7:48 pm 20 Oct 20

It's a no brainer. Ban them.

Karen Porter Karen Porter 7:43 pm 20 Oct 20


Kylie Louise Bailey Kylie Louise Bailey 7:35 pm 20 Oct 20

Please ban them. They're ugly and a distraction for drivers.

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