Corflute congestion drives a stake through voters’ hearts

Michael Weaver 10 September 2020 31
Corflutes

Election corflutes on the Tuggeranong Parkway this week. Photos: Michelle Kroll.

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s less than six weeks until the ACT election and corflutes are already creating their own path towards the polls on 17 October.

Just as they are being put up, some have been strategically knocked down along the Tuggeranong Parkway while Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) rangers have removed 37 election corflutes that were considered a hazard along the light rail corridor.

A TCCS spokesperson told Region Media that the corflutes must comply with the requirements of the Public Unleased Land (Movable Signs) Code of Practice 2013 or they will be removed.

“Licensing and compliance officers removed 37 signs along the light rail corridor on Flemington Road on Monday (7 September),” the spokesperson said.

“Moveable signs cannot be placed within the light rail and associated road corridors network, which includes the stations and layover areas and adjacent road verges.”

Under current laws, there is no limit to the number of roadside electoral corflutes that can be used in the ACT and thousands of the plastic roadside billboards have already been pegged into the landscape.

There is also no law against vehicles (including trailers) having election material affixed to them.


READ ALSO: The sport and politics of the corflute


In what has become a call to arms, the ACT Greens again called for election corflutes to be banned.

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

“It’s well past time to get rid of these annoying electoral signs,” Ms Davidson said.

“Overnight, they’ve popped up everywhere – and no surprise, given there is currently no limit on how many signs can be displayed in any one area.

“Roadsign corflutes indicate nothing about the level of public support for a candidate, just how much money a party has.”

Election corflutes on the Tuggeranong Parkway.

Election corflutes on the Tuggeranong Parkway.

The Greens say they are displaying signs in the front yards of individual households who chose to display them. They are made from 100 per cent recycled material and can be recycled in a person’s yellow bin.

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

The Greens also say there are a number of uses for used election signage, including as house insulation, building chook sheds, as tree guards, habitat for local wombats or painting over them for protest signs.

The ACT Electoral Commission’s report on the 2016 ACT election also noted “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 that the roadside electoral signs be banned entirely.


READ ALSO: Minor parties face up to major issues ahead of ACT election


Signs cannot be placed at roundabouts, median strips, within 20 metres of traffic lights, on residential nature strips, or within 20 metres of the corner of an intersection. They must also be at least 1.2 metres back from the street kerb.

Signs must be self-standing and stable in windy conditions. If a sign falls down, it may also be removed.

They cannot be attached to or obstruct government property such as bridges, overpasses, trees, traffic lights, street lights and traffic control boxes. They must not obstruct or restrict access to walkways, bike paths, nature strips, emergency vehicle access routes, fire hydrants, above-ground and in-ground services. They also must not impede maintenance activities.

Signs are also banned on Northbourne Avenue, the Barton Highway, Federal Highway, Adelaide Avenue, Morshead Drive, Kings Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.

A person who places a movable sign in a public place must also have a current public liability insurance policy with at least a $10 million liability limit.

According to the act, all signs must be removed within 48 hours of polling booths closing.

You can contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81 to report a sign in breach of the code.


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31 Responses to Corflute congestion drives a stake through voters’ hearts
Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 8:01 pm 15 Sep 20

Plastic fantastic. Still we all know pollies dont give a flying fig for the environment. The rubbish on the sides of every major Canberra Rd is disgusting. Punters dont care either, or there would be no rubbish in the first place.

Tramcar Trev Tramcar Trev 7:01 pm 15 Sep 20

Is it an offence to knock them over?
If not I’ll start tomorrow…

Brisal Brisal 9:11 am 14 Sep 20

Do your part to make a difference. Take note of who you see the most signs for, then put them last on the ticket. And write a letter to the individual and party to tell them why.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:16 pm 13 Sep 20

Knowing how this town operates, a ban would almost inevitably lead (in time, if not straight away) to a strict liability offence with a substantial fine – which would, in the heated environment of an election campaign, be an irresistible temptation for false flag operations on the part of our little army of tribal warriors.

The Greens should be careful what they wish for.

Avril Pounds Avril Pounds 6:58 pm 13 Sep 20

Visited NZ 4 years ago when they had an election. Not a corflute to be seen. I think we should follow NZ's lead and get rid of this junk that is an eyesore and will eventually end up in landfill.

Jacki Knight Jacki Knight 4:33 pm 13 Sep 20

I think they are an absolute waste of time and money. Should be banned completely.

Dragan Gluhović Dragan Gluhović 3:21 pm 13 Sep 20

Wasting of taxpayers money, displaying of them it won't change my mind who am I vote for.

Stephen Esdaile Stephen Esdaile 1:59 pm 13 Sep 20

Amazing how so many of Labor's signs have been knocked over, but the Liberal ones in the same locations remain standing. I guess that says more about Liberal voters than the Libs would want to admit.

Annie Close Annie Close 12:27 pm 13 Sep 20

So far none of those bloody awful signs full of lies we endured during the last fed election....

Warwick Bradly Warwick Bradly 11:21 am 13 Sep 20

There’s some labor ones blocking visibility on an intersection on Hindmarsh. I wrote to Chris Steel and Marissa Paterson. So far Paterson has removed her signs but Chris Steel’s are still there.

Stephen Saunders Stephen Saunders 10:59 am 13 Sep 20

Ah well, it’s a change from the rates-n-rail corflutes of 2016.

The 2020 Libs are the friends of better “school outcomes and “green space”. If you want to believe that, don’t let me stop you.

Acton Acton 10:47 am 13 Sep 20

As people drive past their brains are registering the conflate names so that when it comes time to vote they may not know anything else about the person or what they have or haven’t done, just the name. It’s a form of subliminal political messaging that evokes a positive response to a familiar name. Proven to work, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it.

Lorraine Marsh Lorraine Marsh 9:49 am 13 Sep 20

These so many, mabye make them into homes for the homeless.

Claire Jaclyn Claire Jaclyn 8:54 am 13 Sep 20

I keep looking at these plastered everywhere and think how handy those stakes and corflute would be used in my garden, firstly painted over....

Paul Chubb Paul Chubb 8:19 am 13 Sep 20

While I agree with much in the article, I am somewhat pleased that I haven't seen any lies and dodgy truth yet.

Linda Stapleton Linda Stapleton 7:29 am 13 Sep 20

No matter who you vote for you have to admit theses signs really do not add to floriade efforts to brighten up the ACT.

Dave Phillips Dave Phillips 12:23 am 13 Sep 20

Better than skin flutes I suppose

David Hempsted David Hempsted 9:30 pm 12 Sep 20

Means I get to replenish all my tomato stakes.

Peter McDonald Peter McDonald 9:17 pm 12 Sep 20

Could I cop a fine for pulling them up and binning them?

    Rusty Baird Rusty Baird 8:42 am 13 Sep 20

    Only if you get caught ;-)

    Peter McDonald Peter McDonald 11:41 am 13 Sep 20

    It’s only litter, no one is going to complain if you pick up rubbish.

Michele Gorman Michele Gorman 9:05 pm 12 Sep 20

And do these wannabes think that we might get to know their policies and vision for Canberra with corflute signs on the side of the road? Wouldn't have a clue who is running for the legislative assembly.

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