Council has safety concerns over McGaw's CBD takeover

Chris McGaw's posters next to the electoral office in Ruthven St.
Chris McGaw's posters next to the electoral office in Ruthven St. Contributed

UPDATE: Toowoomba Regional Council has raised safety concerns after a candidate leased two stores next to the electoral office in Ruthven St and plastered the buildings with election material.

Council officers visited the building yesterday and requested councillor candidate Chris McGaw remove some of the signage from windows, citing safety concerns.

Planning and Development general manager Stewart Somers said in a statement, "Toowoomba Regional Council deals with election sign issues on temporary shop fronts on a case-by-case basis.

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"As election advertising is a temporary activity, it does not fall within the regular Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme provisions.

"Safety concerns for people accessing these premises govern reviews of respective cases.

"Signs blocking out doorways, especially at eye level, pose a potential safety hazard, which is the case in this instance."

Chris McGaw said he complied with the officer's demands to remove some signs from the windows.

"I suspect there's been some pressure put on the officers by my opponents," he said.

He said many other candidates were storing their campaign materials in his electoral office.

EARLIER: If you're heading to place your pre-poll vote at the electoral office in Ruthven St, there's one candidate you won't be able to miss.

Chris McGaw has gone to great lengths to promote himself, leasing the two neighbouring buildings and decking them out with posters.

The candidate noticed the Pizza Hut had an eviction notice.

The other building was also vacant so he decided to lease them out for the two weeks leading up to the election on March 19.

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He said he wasn't taking this election lightly, spending on TV advertisements and billboards. 

He wouldn't reveal how much he's spent or received so far.

Mr McGaw said he was running a smart campaign with the help of more than 100 volunteers.

The billboards on Ruthven and Stenner Sts cost him $600 thanks to a supportive business owner and the Trade's Hall board was given to him for free.

Do you find election corflutes annoying?

This poll ended on 09 April 2016.

Current Results

Yes

68%

No

31%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"I don't hide that I've had donations from the unions, but the biggest donation has been from a group of people who have nothing to gain from me being elected," he said.

Voters have flocked to vote early, with some saying they found the process confusing.

At least one elector selected a single candidate on their ballot paper, rendering it informal.

How to vote

  • Optional preferential voting will be used for the mayoral election.
  • Voters can choose between voting for one, some or all.
  • A first past the post system will be used to elect the councillors.
  • You must select ten councillors for your vote to count.
  • There will be 53 polling booths across Toowoomba Regional Council region on March 19.

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