TANGNEY independent candidate Dennis Jensen has lodged a complaint with the Australian Electoral Commission that its pre-poll station is too close to one of his rival’s campaign office.
Liberal candidate Ben Morton’s office is on Canning Highway near the bridge, and its rooftop balloon and signage are visible to pedestrians and motorists heading to the pre-poll centre 150 metres away.
“It’s pretty inappropriate and there’s plenty of places, like High Road in Riverton, which would have been more equitable,” Dr Jensen says.
“I was told this was the only commercial property available for rent in Tangney, which is clearly incorrect. Why were there not immediate alarm bells when it was found that this office was so close to a candidate’s campaign office?”
AEC operational manager Chris Gerginis says each pre-polling centre is judged on a case-by-case basis and is sure the Applecross location is neutral.
Mr Morton says he was unaware the pre-polling centre would be a few doors away when he signed his lease.
“I’m focused on the main issues in this campaign and not side-shows like this,” he says.
“And the signage on my campaign office is a good demonstration of the enthusiasm and energy I will bring to the role.”
Dr Jensen’s chances of winning Tangney suffered a blow when Labor preferenced him below Mr Morton on its how to vote card.
“I think Labor voters would be incensed if they knew that a Liberal party candidate was being preferenced over an independent,” Dr Jensen says.
“The Labor and Liberal parties are like too huge cartels: they know I have a good chance of winning this seat and are trying to squeeze me out.”
A candidates forum is planned for the Mt Pleasant Baptist Church, Booragoon, on June 20 at 7pm.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK