As election corflutes begin littering Canberra streets, the ACT Greens have again called for a ban on roadside electoral signs during local election campaigns.
Under current laws, there is no limit to the number of roadside electoral corflutes that can be used in the ACT – which see thousands of plastic roadside corflutes flood the streets of Canberra six weeks out from each ACT election.
“It’s well past time to get rid of these annoying electoral signs – they’re a huge turn off for the community and are a huge waste of plastic,” ACT Greens campaign spokesperson for Democracy Emma Davidson said today.
“Overnight, they’ve popped up everywhere - and no surprise, given there is currently no limit on how many signs can be displayed in any one area.
“We know most Canberrans don’t like seeing these roadsign signs polluting our streets, so I don’t know who the other parties think they’re winning over by littering the streets."
“The Greens encourage strong public discourse, where individuals and households and businesses can participate in the election by putting a sign in their own front yard."
“Roadsign corflutes, on the other hand, indicate nothing about the level of public support for a candidate, just how much money a party has."
“Once the election is over, we can only assume that most of these end up going straight into landfill. What an utter waste."
The ACT Electoral Commission's report on the Legislative Assembly Election in 2016 noted that social media "indicated a relatively widespread degree of dissatisfaction with the proliferation of campaign signs (principally the signs on stakes known as corflutes) across Canberra's main roads and suburban streets" – but stopped short of recommending that the roadside electoral signs be banned entirely.
At the last federal election in May 2019, the Greens did not use roadside electoral signage – instead, corflutes were displayed in private yards or held by volunteers for limited times. This avoided the waste of thousands of plastic corflutes being destroyed often within hours of being erected.
Of the yard signs the Greens do use, these end up being recycled in a range of different ways – including as house insulation, building chook sheds, as habitat for local wombats or painted over for protest signs.
The ACT Greens are currently displaying front yard signs displayed - by choice - by individual households, which are made from 100% recycled material, and can be recycled in a person’s yellow bin.