Maranoa Regional Council candidates corflutes erected at council grounds.
Maranoa Regional Council candidates corflutes erected at council grounds.

REVEALED: How much councillors spent on their campaigns

MARANOA councillors spent a combined $50,000 on their 2020 Local Government election campaigns, new figures reveal.

Data released by the Electoral Commission of Queensland show the amount each of the nine successful candidates invested into their bid for a spot on the new team.

The ECQ website will be updated with more spending, but so far the combined total figure for the nine Maranoa councillors is $49,590

Unity Maranoa - made up of mayor Tyson Golder, Cr Julie Guthrie, Cr John Birkett, Cr George Ladbrook and Cr Mark Edwards - invested $36,864 into their campaign spend.

The final figure is likely to be higher, mayor Golder said he had recently received a bill of about $7000 that has yet to be lodged with the ECQ.

Advertising, legal advice fees, signage and TV advertising accumulated the biggest costs for the Unity Maranoa councillors.

Mayor Golder said running in an election was an expensive process.

“What a lot of people don’t realise is that advertising, during an election, must be charged at a full rate,” he said.

“There isn’t any discounts, because it can be seen as favouritism.”

Similarly, the sheer size of the region also forces councillors and council hopefuls to invest significant sums of money into fuel costs and postage during election campaigns.

“We have one of, if not the biggest road networks in Queensland when you look at the population so it’s a big area to reach people,” Cr Golder said.

Unity Maranoa recognised social media was a growing way to reach audiences, however Cr Golder said they ensured they campaigned through all mediums – TV, paper, radio, brochures.

“It’s about getting the message out there and then it’s up to the people to decide,” he said.

“There was quite a bit of disruption because we couldn’t hand out flyers like we usually would due to coronavirus but that’s just the way it was.”

Cr Cameron O’Neil was the next biggest spender, with a campaign bill of $4564.

“The campaign that I ran this year, mirrored my campaigns in 2016 and 2012 and overall, the costs were by and large the same,” Cr O’Neil said.

“I ran a self-funded campaign and I knew what costs were involved and I was prepared to ultimately spend that amount.

“As a candidate, you want to get the message out to as many people and you do that by putting the material in front of them.

“I got a lot of positive feedback from residents about my brochures saying they could easily understand what I’ve been doing for the last four years and what I’m committed to doing for the next four.

“The only real difference is that I was a lot more active on social media this time round.

“A lot has changed since 2012 and social media is an important way to get the message out there – not for everyone but a large portion of people use that form of communication.”

Cr Joh Hancock spent $3636 and Cr Wendy Taylor spent $2323.

Deputy mayor Geoff McMullen spent $2203.

ECQ rules dictate that candidates who spend $500 or more on their electoral bids must disclose them on the website.

Expenditure:

  • David Schefe: $4976
  • Robert Loughnan $0
  • Gabby Barron $1714
  • Puddy Chandler $2124
  • Travis Holland $723
  • Joy Denton $2235
  • Steven Merrick $0
  • Dave Grace $0
  • Sherrill Stivano $0
  • David Bowden $0
  • Leen Kindt $0
  • Dennis Hurle $0

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