Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Poll Shows Voters Are in the Dark Residents Want to Know More about Our Candidates; Council Candidates Mostly Unknown

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Poll Shows Voters Are in the Dark Residents Want to Know More about Our Candidates; Council Candidates Mostly Unknown

Article excerpt

Byline: Meghan Harris meghan.harris@thechronicle.com.au

THEIR faces are on almost every street corner and they could soon be representing our region but a straw poll has revealed Toowoomba residents have no clue who is in the running for council.

It's only 17 days until polling booths open in the March 19 Local Government election.

There are five mayoral candidates vying for the top job including current Mayor Paul Antonio and challengers Rob Berry, Dirk Egan, Lindy Eising and Jim McEvoy.

Thirty-one candidates are fighting for the 10 seats on council.

The Chronicle took to the streets to see if people could put names to the candidates' faces.

The average number of faces residents could recognise and name was four.

Of the mayoral candidates, most people recognised Cr Antonio as the current mayor but couldn't give his full name.

Julie Windsor said Cr Antonio was the only mayoral candidate she recognised.

She said it was concerning that so many people had no idea who they were voting for.

"I haven't seen any information about the other people running for mayor," she said.

"It's actually quite worrying because I don't think many people know who the council candidates are.

"You would think if you were running for a position this important, you would have a website, social media pages and constantly advertise in the paper and on the news.

"I would attend as many community events as I could in the lead up to really get my name and face out there."

Ms Windsor plans to vote for someone who is determined to fix the parking issue in the CBD.

No one could name every single candidate but David Taylor gave it a good shot, naming 14 of the region's potential councillors.

"I know quite a few of the candidates because I have worked with them in the past but I don't think the average person would have much chance naming them," he said. …

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