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Government needs to act on potentially illegal “no” vote advertising

  • Hodgman Government should order TasNetworks to remove signs
  • Government-owned assets should not be used for political campaigns
  • Materials need to be authorised whether campaigning for ‘yes’ or ‘no’

Campaigners involved in the pending marriage equality postal vote should not be using government-owned assets to attempt to sway Tasmanian voters with advertising materials.

Deputy Labor Leader Michelle O’Byrne said Energy Minister Matthew Groom needs to immediately investigate whether signs posted by “no” vote campaigners on TasNetworks power poles in the state’s north-west are legal.

“In relation to the postal vote, the usual arrangements in relation to campaign materials under the Electoral Act will not be in play as it is being conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as a household survey,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Posters in yards and on property are a matter for local governments but signs placed on power poles – because they are the property of the State Government – are potentially illegal.

“Now that signs have already been erected, Mr Groom and the Department of State Growth should be investigating and – if they are found to be illegal – they should be removed.

“This is already a highly emotive issue which is likely to see passionate debate throughout the community and the Liberal Government should not be allowing government-owned assets to be used as part of that debate.”

*See attached photograph