Several Labor for Nicklin signs were stolen or vandalised overnight. Photo: Supplied
Several Labor for Nicklin signs were stolen or vandalised overnight. Photo: Supplied

Labor targeted as race for Nicklin turns ugly

The State Election campaign is heating up in the Nicklin electorate, with several Labor signs stolen or vandalised overnight.

Labor candidate Robert Skelton made a public plea on Tuesday morning for current Member for Nicklin Marty Hunt to "disavow" the behaviour and "publicly castigate" the perpetrators.

Mr Skelton said all his campaign signs in Yandina and Cooroy were stolen, which he said was a common occurrence around Palmwoods and Yandina.

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The vandalism included the word "evil" plastered over Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's face and holes cut over Mr Skelton's eyes and mouth.

Last night, all the Robert Skelton Labor signs in Yandina and Cooroy were stolen. This continues a pattern prevalent in...

Posted by Labor for Nicklin on Monday, 5 October 2020

He said while Labor made no judgment as to who was responsible, it was "tragic and a sad indictment of the intolerance and hate fuelled fury which so bedevils the right in Queensland and the world".

"Labor does not ever interfere with other candidates signage because we believe that democracy should be open and inclusive," he said.

As an ex-police officer, Mr Hunt said he strongly condemned the "wilful and unlawful damage" to the signs.

"No one from my campaign team is engaged in such juvenile conduct and if they were, I would report them to the police myself," he said.

"I have had many signs destroyed, defaced and stolen already after only a few days and unfortunately this type of behaviour seems to becoming common in elections."

Mr Hunt said it was a "bit rich" for the local Labor branch to criticise conservatives after Mr Skelton posted that "the LNP want people to die to score political points" in a recent post to Facebook.

The post to Robert Skelton's Facebook page.
The post to Robert Skelton's Facebook page.

"This outrageous statement is unbecoming a candidate for election to the Queensland Parliament and should be deleted with an apology," he said.

"I call on the local Labor candidate to be mature, let's have a civilised campaign and debate. "I'm proud to stand on my local record in the community and don't need to stoop to silly insults like that."

Mr Hunt called on the community to have their say on the ballot paper, not on campaign signs.

"Volunteers from all parties spend many hours putting them together and putting them out," he said.

The Facebook page Labor for Nicklin received some criticism for calling on Mr Hunt to respond to the vandalism, but responded by saying it hadn't "blamed" Mr Skelton's opponent.

"We have not blamed Marty or his people.

"We simply ask for Marty to disavow and condemn the behaviour," the post read.

Mr Skelton has been contacted for comment.


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