Published: 11 April 2017

10 Apr 2017

Vandals have trashed election signs belonging to both Murchison Legislative Council candidates.

Signs promoting sitting independent Ruth Forrest and independent challenger Daryl Quilliam were destroyed in the Wynyard area at the weekend.

Vandals made off with one side of a two-sided sign Ms Forrest had on a trailer by the Bass Hwy at Doctors Rocks, while five of Mr Quilliam’s signs were hit, between Doctors Rocks and central Wynyard.

Both candidates noted they had a (modest by political standards) campaign spending limit ($16,000), meaning sign vandalism was a blow.

Ms Forrest said she was disappointed. 

“We have a limited and legally binding budget, so any additional cost to replace comes at the expense of other opportunities to engage with the electorate in other ways,” she said.

It was the first time something like that  had happened to Ms Forrest, although someone did “amend” one of her signs in a previous campaign to urge a No. 1 vote for film character Forrest Gump.

“I will just get on with my job and continue to engage with electors wherever and whenever I can, conscious of the fact that I do have to be in Hobart when parliament is sitting this week and for committee work which continues right up until the election,” Ms Forrest said

Mr Quilliam said five of his signs were “cut right out” on Saturday night.

”It’s pretty said that that sort of thing happens,” he said on Monday.

“We live in a  democracy, so people have got a choice.

“They don’t have to vote for me.”

He said some of the signs targeted had been on private property.

He suspected his and Ms Forrest’s signs had been targeted by someone who was “anti-politician”.

“They didn’t take real estate signs,” he said.

“I don’t know if they see it as a fun thing; it’s a bit sad really.

“ … I wouldn’t  think with independents people would be so anti.”

He said many people told him they did not really care about politics.

He hoped people would make an effort  to work out who to vote for.

“If it’s myself or Ruth, that’s fine; at least they’ve made an informed decision,” he said.

“I think that’s healthy for our community.”

The election will be on May 6.

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