Williams on ‘flack, cost and privilege’ of election campaign
Letter to the Editor
NOW that the State election dust has finally settled and everything is returning to as it was (again), I thought I would congratulate, thank and share some of the little known facts that come with campaigning in our State elections.
First of all I would like to congratulate Tony Perrett on his win, well done Tony, I know it will be another four years in opposition but I am glad Labor won overall, and I know you wouldn’t expect me to say anything less Tony, after all you would be saying the same thing if your side had won.
Secondly, I’d like to thank all those that voted for me directly and indirectly through preferences. I’d also like to acknowledge all of the candidates for stepping up to try and make a change in Gympie and to represent the electorate.
For those who aren’t aware, it doesn’t matter if you’re independent or from a party, candidates step up in a purely voluntary role to apply for the privilege of being your voice.
While some are lucky to have donations to help with funding, a lot of the money required to run comes from our own pockets. If we’re lucky enough to get over 6% of the primary vote, then you can claim your election expenditure back, but what a lot of people don’t know and just assume, is that you get it all back and therefore aren’t out of pocket for anything, this is incorrect.
If you’re an Independent you can claim your expenditure back through the Electoral Commission of Queensland and get reimbursed that way, however if you are with a major party, the party claims it back on the behalf of the candidate and the money goes to the party, not to the candidate.
The candidates can only claim their expenditure back on their tax returns at the end of the financial year, and not before. The only exception to this is when a sitting MP such as Tony Perrett in Gympie or Bruce Saunders in Maryborough, run for re-election, they have their allowances that they can use.
Lastly, we put up with the flack, we give our time, we listen to what you have to say and hope that we’ve done enough to earn your trust and your vote.
I tip my hat to anyone that gets up and has a go, it’s not easy and it is at times exhausting, but I would do it again and I probably will.
This is by no means a whinge on my behalf, I thoroughly enjoyed running as the Labor candidate for Gympie. I enjoyed listening to your problems, comments and suggestions. Thank you for coming up and talking to me and I hope we can do this again.
For those wishing to join our local Labor branch, please feel free to get in contact with me on my Facebook page.
Geoff Williams, Bauple, Gympie Labor