Campaign gets nasty

Campaign gets nasty

Councillors who are standing for election have had their images defaced in a shop window in Byford. Photograph – Juanita Shepherd.

In the lead up to the October council elections tensions are ripe between some residents and council nominees in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.

In a shop front in the Byford town centre there are a number of posters with pictures of some of the residents standing for election.

Each of their faces has a big red mark drawn through it and a number of comments written underneath the images.

Some of the remarks include, ‘another wannabe and flyby no thanks,’ ‘beware of his smooth talking’, and ‘where is this man’s honesty about his motives.’

Councillors Sally Hawkins, Keith Ellis, and John Erren together with residents Morgan Byas, Rob Coales and Matthew Hendry had images of their faces defaced.

Owner of the shop Steve Lenze was unavailable for comment but The Examiner spoke to two of the candidates who have had pictures of their faces marked in red.

North ward candidate Mr Hendry said the profiles in the shop window have been put up by cowards who will not publicise who they are.

“They are slanderous and full of lies and contain personal attacks on candidates,” he said.

“It is disappointing that there are people in our community who rather than contributing themselves prefer to cast aspersions on those who do.”

Mr Hendry said he has chosen to stand for council as he wants to see integrity and openness and he wants the residents to have real representation.

“Two issues which residents have raised with me the most are open council and lack of waste facilities,” he said.

“I want to see council meetings returned to an open forum, residents should not be required to submit questions in writing in advance.

He said if elected he would also push for green waste bins and on request skip bin service to replace bulk waste collections.”

Another candidate Mr Coales said he believes in democracy and people should be allowed to say what they want.

“I am comfortable in myself,” he said.

“It doesn’t bother me what people have to say, I have integrity, honesty and accountability and these are the qualities the residents and ratepayers in Serpentine Jarrahdale are craving.”

The WA Electoral Commission was contacted but did not respond before deadline.