Former Livingstone mayor Bill Ludwig.
Former Livingstone mayor Bill Ludwig.

Ludwig to lodge complaint over smear campaign

FORMER Livingstone mayor Bill Ludwig has spoken candidly about the impact an election smear campaign had on himself and his family.

After being approached by The Morning Bulletin, Mr Ludwig said three social media pages had worked in tandem in the lead-up to the March election to discredit him through the posting of defamatory content.

Mr Ludwig said he intended to lodge a formal complaint with the Electoral Commission of Queensland but he did not have the resources to launch legal action.

He said while the posts were largely a personal attack on him, they had also defamed others.

Mr Ludwig said while the individuals involved did not put their names to their comments, instead hiding behind their generically-titled social media pages, he was aware of who some of these people were.

“It was a very well co-ordinated attack,” Mr Ludwig said.

“People commented on it (the content).

“I’ll be making a formal complaint to the electoral commission because it certainly was defamatory and I believe the electoral commission should be investigating who was behind that.”

When asked if the smear campaign had an influence on the election, Mr Ludwig said: “People did comment to me about that.

“I kept above it, but you know the personal attacks were just outrageous.

“There was also personal stuff aimed at (others) and there was bullying (against them) as well.

“I’d never seen anything like it in my life.

“I’ve done 23 years in local government and never saw anything like that before.

“I think there were enough people within the community who commented that they just sort of thought it was far beyond acceptable community standards, and there’s some questions that need to be asked.

“But at the end of the day, I ran a very positive campaign, and it was disappointing to see that level of co-ordinated attacks.”

Mr Ludwig said the abuse was also personal towards his family which had taken a toll.

“I’ve got screenshots of it (what was posted),” he said.

Mr Ludwig said he was content with his achievements during his political career and at this stage of his life he “did not need to be mayor again.”

“But I could have dug deep for another four years for the community, which is why I ran again.”

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