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‘Their time has come’: Election corflutes to be banned in SA

Political party corflutes on public roads and infrastructure will no longer be a part of South Australia’s elections, after the government today backed a Liberal Party push to ban the plastic posters.

Feb 07, 2024, updated Feb 07, 2024
Former premier Steven Marshall campaign posters on election day, 2018. Photo: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Former premier Steven Marshall campaign posters on election day, 2018. Photo: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

The House of Assembly this morning passed legislation banning the display of election advertising posters on public roads, Stobie poles and trees, with a maximum penalty of $5000 for breaches.

The Upper House could pass the legislation as early as this week, meaning the ban will be in place for the upcoming Dunstan by-election.

The ban will not apply to election posters on private land.

Opposition leader David Speirs, who introduced the legislation in May 2023, said he has been pushing for a corflute ban for nearly five years.

“It is fundamentally in step with the view of the South Australian public,” he told parliament.

“Poll after poll… has made it very clear that South Australians don’t like the visual pollution of these posters, they don’t like the fact that they are made of single-use plastics.

“They generate tonnes of single-use plastic pollution every election cycle, and their time has come.”

Election corflutes in the seat of Waite at the 2022 election. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Speirs had tried as Environment Minister to ban corflutes in 2021 but the Upper House blocked the Bill due to a range of other electoral reforms contained with the legislation.

The Opposition leader also did not put up his own corflutes when campaigning at the 2022 state election.

Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly Tom Koutsantonis said this morning that the government would support the legislation.

“This is an important reform,” he told the Lower House.

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“It’s clear to the government that there is a consensus in the House from almost every other group that this is a measure whose time has come.

“And as we head towards a by-election, it seems timely to take action on this issue.”

Koutsantonis said the corflute ban will see politicians “get back to the old fashioned knocking on doors” rather than “relying on plastering your picture on Stobie poles”.

“It’ll be interesting to see the change. I think it’s also pretty obvious that overwhelmingly the public want this change,” he said.

“It is interesting to note people’s perceptions on corflutes – they hate them but they’re also an indication that elections are on, they also give them an awareness of who the candidates are.

“But… this will also encourage members of parliament and candidates to be a lot more active in their local community rather than relying on corflutes.”

House Speaker Dan Cregan will announce the date of Dunstan by-election tomorrow.

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