Griffin gripes at council stall ban
WITH only nine weeks left until local government elections, Tim Griffin was looking forward to meeting residents at this year's Heritage Village Australia Day markets.
But the Rockhampton Region mayoral candidate was disappointed this week when told he would be prohibited from holding a stall to promote his campaign.
Mr Griffin said to make matters worse, Mayor Brad Carter had announced a community barbecue would be held on January 28.
"I haven't got the resources of City Hall to hold breakfasts and barbecues to promote my campaign," Mr Griffin said.
"We are coming up to an election and people have the right to meet their potential representatives. It was a great opportunity for me to be able to meet with people and listen to their concerns about the region, but it seems the council bureaucrats have decided that I cannot engage with residents.
"How un-Australian is that?"
Griffin, a 2007 OAM recipient, was furious with the decision and questioned whether he was being discriminated against.
"At the last election, a number of mayoral candidates and standing councillors held stalls at the markets. I want to know why the rules changed all of a sudden, and where did this decision come from?" Mr Griffin said.
Council CEO Evan Pardon said the decision was made by a group consisting of the events organisers and council representatives.
"It was decided by the group that because it was a council event, on council operated land that it would not be appropriate to have any sort of political advertising this close to an election."
Mr Pardon said while Mr Griffin would not be permitted to hold a stall, he was welcome to attend on the day.
"He is a resident and is welcome to visit the Heritage Village and speak with other residents in that capacity, as I'm sure other candidates and council members will do," he said.
Mr Pardon declined to make comment in regard to the upcoming community barbecue.