LGAQ delivers stern warning to over-excited candidates
CANDIDATES and their supporters have been warned to take care about unsubstantiated allegations hurled about in the heat of the 2016 local government election campaign.
Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam said the rock throwers needed to stop.
"Maybe someone has to be prosecuted in the near future for everyone to heed the message that it's not right to make false or misleading accusations about your political opponent or the council as a whole," Mr Hallam said.
"The LGAQ's job is to protect and promote the virtues of local government. We don't line up to defend the indefensible or pretend there is never a problem or two across a sector with 77 councils, $12 billion in budgets, more than $100 billion of assets and 39,000 staff.
"At the end of the day the LGAQ will cop what's fair criticism of its members but no more.
"My guess is that one mud slinger begets another, and another and another, and soon you have a mudslide. I will have a small wager now that only a small bit of the mud thrown will be found to be of substance."
Mr Hallam said the bulk of mud being hurled across the state was intended purely to inflict damage and hang the consequences for those who wear it.
He warned that social media was being badly abused at election time.
"This abuse is most apparent at council elections, when people seem to think anything goes," he said.
"Some of the stories and claims being posted from one end of the state to the other are just plain ridiculous.
"Content published on social media - be it blogs, Twitter or Facebook - is subject to the same defamation laws that cover content on conventional print and electronic media."