Bruce Devereaux election sign post-gauntlet
Bruce Devereaux election sign post-gauntlet

‘I’m out too’: another candidate renounces voter ‘gauntlet’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

FIRST things first, congratulations to residents of Division 8 (the Mary Valley) who have somehow managed to snag themselves three of the best candidates on the ballots.

CLICK HERE: Mary Valley candidates join forces in refusing to contribute to coronavirus risk

All three managed to talk civilly to each other and come away with the very sensible idea they shouldn’t be manning the entrance to the Fossickers Room for early voters, let alone handing out flyers. As such, I wish we could vote all three in for putting their community first.

Me, I’m out too.

READ MORE: ECQ reveals more changes to pre-polling in council election

And I believe the candidates from Division 6 have come to a similar conclusion.

I haven’t been comfortable with this from the get go, and in fact spoke to our Returning Officer about it last week.

Bruce Devereaux election sign post-gauntlet
Bruce Devereaux election sign post-gauntlet

The fact is, statistically, Covid-19 is already in Gympie. There is a lead-in time to this virus which you can’t see until it hits.

Making residents ‘run the gauntlet’ is risking our most vulnerable residents and quite frankly I care more about them surviving this than getting elected. And it seems to me most of the people coming through to vote so far have been older: Some of them have had oxygen tanks and some have been in wheelchairs or leaning on walkers. I fear for them, not my votes.

Our community must come first.

After reading the article in The Gympie Times about Redlands’ candidates coming to a consensus about ‘the gauntlet’ I contacted as many candidates as I could last night to suggest we meet and, in the interests of public safety, come up with a similar plan.

My plan wasn’t to write a letter like this. My plan, if it can be called that, was to band together with the other candidates and make a joint announcement which benefited no one candidate over another.

I even offered to remove most of my signs from the pre-polling entrance to allow candidates who announced late and haven’t had the same lead up and interaction with the electorate to display more of theirs. I don’t know how much fairer I could have been.

I was encouraged by a dozen responses saying they they’d been thinking along the same lines. A couple indicated if their opponents were there they would be too. A few, including our outgoing mayor, didn’t even bother with a response.

As such I approached him almost immediately I arrived this morning. He wasn’t interested. He indicated there was no directive from the government to stop him so he would stay. I see this as totally in keeping with the core issues we’ve had throughout Mick Curran’s disappointing leadership of council.

Harsh? If he’s still there as you walk in ask him if it’s worth it.

Bruce Devereaux election sign post-gauntlet
Bruce Devereaux election sign post-gauntlet

In fact, ask anyone who’s there that.

Only, for the love of your grandparents, DON’T get close enough to take their flyer.

Bruce Devereaux, Gympie Regional Council election Division 4 Candidate (Abridged)