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Speech: Electoral (Control of Corflutes) Amendment Bill

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (12:04): I rise to support this bill brought to this place through the
auspices of it being on the Notice Paper for quite a period of time. I have forgotten the number of
days that was quoted—eight hundred and something, I think—that it was in the lower house through
the Leader of the Opposition, working in conjunction with the Malinauskas government. As a Greens
member of parliament, it should come as no surprise that I look forward to the banning of the single

use corflute plastic that is allowed to go up with a politician's face on a Stobie pole come election
time.

I think that it was quite hypocritical that this parliament took action on single-use plastics but
did not ban corflutes, and I have been consistent in that. I refer members to my previous speeches
in this place where I have consistently supported the banning of these corflutes from our streets. I
think it is not only visual pollution but not really democracy if you can flood the streets, if you are
cashed up and you can have the army of volunteers needed to put those posters up and, as we
know, tear others down.
It is everyone who suffers when it gets into an arms race of plastic posters on poles being
apparently the epitome of our democracy. The South Australian people, and us as political people
as well, deserve better than that. We deserve a better democracy than that. The last time I spoke to
this—I have refreshed my memory—I mentioned my Myspace account from 2009, which I think still
exists, although I do not use it anymore. At that point, I said:
I do not think that putting corflutes up on Stobie poles across the state enhances our democracy. What I do
think enhances democracy is having the ability to ensure that we are on a level playing field, that those who have more
money at their disposal are not advantaged, that those who can win the arms race of putting up corflutes and stealing
other corflutes from other parties or Independents are not advantaged.
I then went on to share the story of the first time my now adult son voted in the Ramsay by-election,
when the previous, previous, previous Premier stepped down and caused a by-election. The face of
my longtime friend and now the member for Ramsay—and ongoing minister, in fact—Zoe Bettison
was on all the corflutes on our streets.
My son, who was new to voting and had not had to vote at the general election, said to me,
'What do I do?' 'What do you think?' He said to me, 'Well, she has the most corflutes.' I despair at
our democracy if that is what we are relying on for people to make their decisions. I did point out that
she had known him since he was a toddler, and then he said, 'Well, she has the most corflutes and
she knew me when I was young. That's good enough for me.' This is the son, by the way, who is not
terribly political.
I also have an adult daughter who is very political, who actually enrolled to vote when she
was 17 so she was on the roll should an election be called at any time, as opposed to the football

playing son who, for almost every election in his 20s—he is now in his 30s—would ring me up and
go, 'What do I do?' I would always have to say, 'Look for the place that has busyness, people going
in and out. Go in there, give them your name and address and, when I'm running, vote for me.' He
has, as far as I know, always voted for me regardless of my poster being on a Stobie pole.
I am really pleased that we are passing this legislation through this parliament in time for the
Dunstan by-election. It will allow an opportunity to see how the system works. Many other jurisdictions
around Australia have banned this visual street pollution. It does not add to a democratic debate. It
does not put policies front and centre. It allows for awful posters, such as the previous Premier with
the body of a rat, for example. We can all think of the attack corflutes that we have seen as well that
offer nothing to our democracy other than to denigrate it.
I also welcome and note that The Advertiser opinion piece today of Kathryn Bermingham
talked about getting rid of how-to-vote cards. I am up for that as well and always have been. I note
that in Tasmania, when they have an election, not only are they not handing out how-to-vote cards
at polling booths that day but they all take a rest. The voter simply goes in to vote and has all of the
information there in the polling booth so that they can assess for themselves without people and the
arms race and the masses of volunteers thrusting what can often be misleading information at the
last minute in their faces. I am pleased, also, that we do have truth in political advertising rules in this
state.
These are all improvements to our democracy, and I do look forward to this being yet another
improvement. I think it is unfortunate that we are having a by-election, and that has been caused by
the resignation of the previous Premier, but this is an opportunity to do things differently—to work
together—and I hope that is what we get done today.

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