Home' The Great Southern Star : October 11th 2016 Contents PAGE 4 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, October 11, 2016
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By Tayla Kershaw
ANOTHER surge of ‘dummy candi-
date’ claims were brought to the fore
after the release of a how to vote card
for Strzelecki Ward in South Gippsland
The card features five of the 10 candidates and
they appear to favour incumbent councillor Andrew
The card is similar to the format of a Tarwin Val-
ley Ward how to vote card featuring Cr Don Hill.
Each candidate to appear on the cards put Crs
McEwen and Hill at number two, suggesting they
would be their preferred councillors.
Cr McEwen said the candidates had been unfairly
labelled, and nothing he nor Cr Hill had done was
“Everyone in a democracy has the right to stand
and preference anyone they like,” he said.
“Preferences for Don and I reflect some candi-
dates’ desire for us to be returned because we have
fought for change.”
Strzelecki candidate David Amor appears on Cr
McEwen’s how to vote card, but he does not believe
it will affect his position in the election.
“Voters know who I am and they may put their
Quashing accusations: Cr Andrew McEwen
said his how to vote card was legal and candi-
dates had a right to express their preferences.
Candidates under fire
trust in me for the next four years. This is an oppor-
tunity for them to see my advice on how to vote,”
“I’m definitely independent. The option came to
me on September 21 and I filled out my preferences
without knowing what the others would put down.
With the change of policy, this option was value for
Like Cr Hill, Cr McEwen said the joint how to
vote card resulted in substantial savings for the can-
didates. For a candidate to issue their own how to
vote card would cost around $3000.
However, Cr Lorraine Brunt believed current
councillors should not need a how to vote card at
“It’s pointed, appalling and they should have
more respect for people’s intelligence,” she said.
“No incumbent councillor – if they have done
their job – should need to doorknock or get five peo-
ple to back them up. You should be known for what
you’ve done during your term.”
When asked if she thought the featured candi-
dates were stooges, Cr Brunt said yes.
Tarwin Valley Ward candidate Graeme Heath re-
ported Cr Hill’s preference votes to the Leongatha
office of the Victorian Electoral Commission, but no
complaints about Cr McEwen had been made.
“I was disappointed with it. Money is not an issue
By Tayla Kershaw
TARWIN Valley Ward candidates Rose-
mary Cousin and Di Tod protested
‘dummy candidate’ claims in the lead
up to the South Gippsland Shire Council
election last Friday.
The candidates featured on a how to vote card
which appeared to favour Cr Don Hill, raising some
eyebrows from the community about their legiti-
Ms Cousin and Ms Tod firmly stated they were
“The reason the old school majority block in
council has resorted to scurrilous personal attacks
and accusations of ‘dummy candidates’ and ‘stooges’
being fielded is that they have no real policies, and
no long term vision to take our communities forward
in a tough global environment,” Ms Cousin said.
“We are independent women and independent
thinkers who judge each situation on its merits, and
we care very deeply about the future of our shire.”
Ms Tod said neither she nor Ms Cousin spoke to
the other candidates when they agreed to feature on
the how to vote card.
Both candidates stand for a safe environment,
building resilience against global warming , fixing
rate inequity and changing the culture of ‘bullies’ in
“There is an unhelpful culture in the South Gippsland
Shire. There’s no customer service. You go in looking
for help only to feel like what’s happening is your fault.
There’s a feeling of hostility,” Ms Cousin said.
“It also seems to be some serious rate inequality.
Charges and rates need to be given a closer look at.”
According to the candidates, good values are the
first step to change.
“To turn our current predicament around will re-
quire restraint, a new vision and a return to some
of the values that our grandparents espoused – the
old fashioned values of selflessness, hard work and
good economic management,” Ms Cousin said.
“It does not need a culture of negativity and bul-
lying in a vision free zone. A vote for us is a vote for
you, our children, our grandchildren and our com-
I’m running with integrity,” Mr Heath said.
“What bothered me was that it arrived in an of-
ficial looking envelope, which I felt might confuse or
“If the community has ethics, it should be able to
see through this tactic and they will vote for people
who represent them.”
No dummies here
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