Legal advice that shows the Boroondara Council has sought to unlawfully deny the rights of candidates in the Federal election, has been released by Oliver Yates, Independent candidate for Kooyong.
Mr Yates is calling for an independent, state government investigation into the political interference of the Boroondara Council, after being repeatedly harassed by council officers who, for all intents and purposes, appear to be running interference on behalf of the Liberal Party.
The legal advice states that the council has no right to restrict the rights of political candidates to freely campaign, particularly during an election period, and that the local laws are in conflict with the Australian Constitution and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights.
The advice clearly states that any attempt to restrict political advertising is unlawful.
Mr Yates said that since announcing that he would run for election in the seat of Kooyong, the Liberal stacked Boroondara Council has sought at every opportunity, to deny him and his team the ability to freely campaign.
“As a result I needed to seek legal advice.
“Not only have we been harassed by the Council around the use of our trailers to promote my candidacy, we have been made to jump through hoops to be allowed to stand on the street and speak to voters. Only when the Council’s behaviour was exposed in the media, did they agree to allow us to campaign in the streets.
“We know that the council has been informed numerous times about Liberal advertising signs on corner sites, blocking clear vision and a public safety hazard. Its concerning that the signs are still in place.
“We’re seeing council space being handed to the Liberal Party to host Josh Frydenberg signs, while other people cannot freely park their trailers across the electorate or their signs are being torn down, simply for being placed millimetres over a footpath.
“We’ve also heard many other stories of people who have been intimidated in this campaign. There have been grass roots community groups who have had climate change related events shut down by Council and their advertising torn off and thrown in the tip.
“It’s petty and vindictive, and we’re fighting back.
“This tells you everything you need to know about the current Liberal Party. They think there’s one rule for them, and another for everyone else. When they don’t get their own way, they will bully and harass.
“They need a long time in opposition to have a good think about what sort of party they’ve become."
1. Oliver Yates' legal advice letter.
2. Below is photos showing Council isn't as concerned with Josh Frydenberg's election advertising material as they are with Oliver Yates' material. We have lodged complaints about these materials on behalf on the community, to no effect. Pictured: Josh Frydenberg election advertising material blocking corners from visibility and Josh Frydenberg election advertising material in Council property.
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For more information please call Adrian Dodd 0401 726 476