Council bans political signs

“The changes … help reduce the wastefulness and the significant free-for-all and visual pollution across the city …” – LNP Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner 20 May 2021.

Defy the Ban

Brisbane City Council has placed a limit on political signage in front yards and threatened the Greens and their supporters with fines if they do not remove them. Workers BushTelegraph has received a worrying letter (below) from the local Greens candidate for the federal seat of Griffith, Max Chandler-Mather. The letter states that “The LNP council has passed a law that restricts each candidate to 150 yard signs and forces you to register each address with a council register.” In Camp Hill there are over 14 Greens yard signs put up by party faithful, Rocky. In our yard, Rocky helped me cut down a banana tree to make the sign more visible. The fruit needed to be harvested anyway.

Max Chandler – Mather’s signs banned!

WBT has been informed by a lawyer in the seat of Griffith that these rules have been around for some time, restricting grassroots campaigners. Will the council be sending out BCC rapid response teams to count the number of signs in the Federal election? I think not. So the law is not enforceable. Unless Council has come up with a Google Map algorithm to calculate the number of yardsigns 😉

Has anyone tried to stop Clive Palmer with his grotesque yellow and black FREEDOM signs on GOA billboards?

It looks like the ban may end up in the Supreme Court of Queensland. We will not be taking down our sign in Camp Hill.

The Guardian reports: “Holland Park resident Claire Mitchell said she was “disappointed” to receive a letter on Wednesday, days after erecting a sign on her property promoting Chandler-Mather. I was home yesterday and I noticed [council workers] walked over to my sign and took a photo of it … then they left a notice in my letterbox,” she said. “It said I need to urgently contact them in regard to removing the election sign.”

Meanwhile the sitting member Terri Butler says that we need to improve our road, rail and active transport infrastructure. Apparently Terri Butler has been on the Federal Parliament for the major traffic snarl at the level crossing at Coorparoo station to be fixed. This was a promise at the last federal election in 2019. However, like the former member for Griffith , Kevin Rudd, who campaigned against aircraft noise; the sitting member has had little success in her campaign.

Little mention by any of the candidates about the rising cost of vegetables, meat and petrol caused in part by the war with Russia in Europe. Pressure is mounting slowly and so primary votes for major parties is falling. Change can only come from the bottom up.

ALP Mailout: Joe Kelly ALP Member for Greenslopes; Anthony Albanese, ALP Federal leader; Terri Butler, Federal MP for Griffith.

Policies of parties on the Left
WBT will be doing an analysis of the political platforms of Labor and Greens in the coming weeks, but looking broadly both parties offer social democratic solutions to problems currently faced by people. It is interesting to see an environmental party like the Greens having a seven point plan that does not address problems with the environment as its major concern. Instead the party nationally has chosen to put health, political corruption and jobs as its top three concerns. Labor cites infrastructure, Medicare and cheaper electricity as important. Both policies (ALP & Greens) are no doubt poll driven. Curiously there is no mention of foreign policy at all in either Max Chandler-Mather or Terri Butler’s policy statements mailed to everyone in the seat of Griffith in Queensland. I imagine candidates elsewhere have followed a similar formula. Max Chandler-Mather does include his own local concerns such as traffic congestion, walkable neighbourhoods, parks and public housing. Terri Butler is concerned about the level crossing at Coorparoo railway station.

Challenging the system in federal politics

Defy the ban on political yardsigns!
In the absence of any socialist parties putting forward policies that benefit the working class as a whole, WBT has a preference for Max from the Greens because he is trying to challenge the economic system that has produced financial uncertainty, wars, with high cost of food and housing. A system where all that mainstream parties offer is ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ that mean nothing but slavery and poverty for ordinary workers.

Ian Curr
22 April 2022

Anyway here is Max Chandler-Mather’s letter:

The other day I, along with a bunch of Greens supporters, got a letter from the LNP Brisbane City Council demanding I take down my yard sign. Needless to say I’ll be refusing. But now I need your help to fight back.The LNP and Brisbane City Council are trying to force us to take down hundreds of yard signs in Griffith based on a dodgy reading of a dodgy law, and make an extraordinarily undemocratic intervention in the federal election. The LNP council has passed a law that restricts each candidate to 150 yard signs and forces you to register each address with a council register. This means in an electorate like Griffith with 120,000 voters, the LNP want to ban 99% of people from hosting a yard sign. This is an undemocratic attack on people’s right to freedom of political expression and we won’t be standing for it.

So I’m emailing to ask you to join me in standing up to this direct attack on our most democratic freedoms. If you haven’t already, and you live in Griffith, can you help us fight back by hosting a yard sign?
Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather sign in Camp Hill in the seat of Griffith
I can host a yardsign!
So far it seems like the council is hiding behind the excuse that people aren’t allowed yard signs until this Saturday, which is just completely wrong.

Council’s laws say yard signs can go up 28 days before the election date, with ‘election date’ defined as “specified pre-polling or polling day for an election”. Pre-poll voting starts on May 9 that means signs can go up from 11th April.

Why are the LNP doing this? Because the massive people powered movement we’re building in Griffith is a direct threat to the political establishment. Can you host a yard sign to show our movement won’t be silenced?
I’ll fight back!
If you don’t live in Griffith, can you chip and donate to help us put up more yardsigns?

I want to be very clear. We won’t be taking a single yard sign down. If they want to fine us then we’ll take them to court.Having thousands of yard signs up in an electorate is crucial to demonstrating that there are thousands of people, like you, supporting the Greens. It builds confidence in the community that an alternative positive vision can win and encourages people to vote for us.

There’s no limit to the number of billboards a political party can buy – or TV ads. That’s because the LNP and Labor love to use corporate donations to fund expensive electoral campaigns. That’s why it’s so spectacularly hypocritical for them to try and restrict a grassroots expression of support like yard signs.When they can’t beat people power, the LNP tries to ban it.

Well you can’t stop people power. And they won’t beat us.
Can you join me in showing the LNP what happens when you take on a people powered movement like ours?

In solidarity,
Our campaign is powered by people like you.

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