Rewrite the rules

The push by the Mt Barker Council to strengthen laws prohibiting the early placement of political election signs is a welcome exercise in the obvious.
The move should be supported by all councils across SA and the relevant bylaws re-written before the next State election in 2018.
If such a simple change is not adopted with enthusiasm then the community must question the effectiveness or motives of the bureaucracy.
The Mt Barker Council chief executive claims the law around the early placement of election signs is completely ineffective in that it requires photographic evidence of the candidate or volunteer putting up the poster.
Given the onerous task of providing such evidence in order to achieve the protection of the bylaw, it is easy to conclude the law is designed to fail.
The early placement of signs before the recent Federal election became an issue when the sitting MP Jamie Briggs refused to take his posters down when asked to do so by the Mt Barker and Adelaide Hills councils after many were put up more than a week before the legislated time.
The Adelaide Hills Council went to the effort and expense of taking them down while the Mt Barker Council did nothing.
It is now investing time and money to rectify the root of problem … a move for which it should be congratulated.
It was not just the Liberal Party which broke the law in the Hills as Greens Senate signs were also put up early, but most were removed when requested by the councils.
It must be noted that the early placement of election signs is not the most pressing issue facing our community but it is important to ensure our lawmakers obey the law.
The community wouldn’t tolerate a politician avoiding a parking fine or a speeding ticket. The law must be applied to everyone equally.
The legal threat by the Liberal Party to the Mt Barker Council in the wake of its pre-election request to remove the signs indicates the value they place in this form of advertising.
All political Parties invest in these signs at considerable expense so it is clear they work. They simply need to follow the rules or suffer the consequences … just like everyone else.