Ballina Greens council and mayoral candidate Jeff Johnson had his Tarago van stolen and burnt out on Wednesday night. There were electoral posters covering the outside of the van.
Mr Johnson told Echonetdaily the van was taken while parked at Alstonville and found dumped and in flames on the corner of Lennox Circuit and Ballina St Pottsville yesterday morning.
He said that while he wasn’t definitively calling it politically motivated, the barbs thrown at him by opponents could have inspired the vandalism. The irony of the street names where it was found was not lost on him.
Police are continuing to investigate the matter.
Early in the campaign Mr Johnson was the target of a smear campaign by Kieren Drabsch, the Country Labor candidate, who accused him in a local newspaper of having a secret agenda to merge with Byron Council and spend money from Ballina’s coffers to ‘bail out his Green mates in Byron’.
Mr Johnson has run a campaign focused on the delivery of local community infrastructure projects such as the construction of a four-court indoor sports centre and the upgrading of the public pools infrastructure projects by selling under-performing council investments and industrial land.
‘Local community and sporting groups have been calling for these facilities for over a decade,’ he said.