The State Environment Planning Policy 2008 is very clear that you can only start displaying signs five weeks out from an election, which means on or after Saturday, February 16. Something you would think every councillor and especially a mayor running for a State seat would know.
But if you were driving down Narellan Road today you might have seen Camden Mayor, Peter Sidgreaves, already has his signs out.
This is particularly unusual because normally Camden Council officers are quite strict when it comes to enforcing election regulations, as the Council needs to be seen as neutral at election time. It will be interesting to see if its enforcement arm takes any action against its own mayor, as it should.
Regardless, now it appears that Mr Sidgreaves not only got the jump on the rest of local Liberal members to sneak in as Camden’s Liberal candidate without pre-selection, he has also sneaked in his election advertising well ahead of the deadline, which naturally disadvantages other local candidates.
And on the subject of the NSW State election and odd goings-on, you have to think Wollondilly’s parachuted in Liberal candidate, Nathaniel (Nat) Smith might be losing the plot. A photo on his social media feed shows him in Narellan Town Centre where he claims to be talking to local constituents.
Seriously, if you don’t know anyone Nat, (and why would you because you’re not a local), at least make sure your rent-a-crowd photo opportunity isn’t easily identifiable as foot soldiers of your own party.
Clearly the election fun and games have started. Maybe Council Watch will become Election Watch for the next few weeks.