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Byron Shire
March 1, 2024

Exploding fun park election ad backfires

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Stephanie Deane, secretary, Save JEBH Group. 

Firstly, I uphold the Australian right to free speech and, secondly, I uphold the right of any newspaper as a business to print any advertisement.

What I did find in bad taste is the full page ad that was run in local papers as well as  letterbox delivered.  This ad depicted four people standing on top of a piece of inflatable fun park equipment that was exploding.

The persons depicted were three sitting councillors Katie Milne, Gary Bagnall and Barry Longland as well as an independent candidate Chris Cherry.  It was meant to represent the inflatable Gold Coast styled theme park in the Jack Evans Boat Harbour that was knocked back.  In other words if these candidates didn’t want 4m high icebergs in the harbour, they MUST be ‘greenies’.  Katie as we all know is proud to be Green, the other three candidates do not belong to political parties.

Firstly I  found it appalling that in the week of the tragic Dreamworld incidentk where four people lost their lives on an inflatable raft, that whoever designed and signed off on this ad  still chose to run it  instead of pulling it and substituting it with something else.  They had plenty of time to do this.

Secondly, at all levels of government, we hear how active they are in stamping out intimidation and bullying in our schools and workplace.

This ad was meant to intimidate and bully residents, to influence they way they voted.  If this ad was online about a student or about a person in a workplace they would be up in arms about how shocking it was!  Aren’t they meant to lead by example?

It’s very sad how far individuals or parties are prepared to go to win!

Whether Chris Cherry wins or loses, I am proud to have been a candidate on her group ticket.  She is an educated, honourable women and if she is unsuccessful she can still hold her head up high and be proud she didn’t sink to gutter politics to get elected.


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