Are our candidates shy?
TWEED'S first hi-tech council election has caught out some leading candidates, including Greens Party leader Katie Milne, for refusing to reveal details about themselves.
Some of the candidates were unaware their answers or their refusal to answer questions asked by the NSW electoral office would be published on its website.
They include Ms Milne, whose party has been at the forefront in state politics for demanding politicians reveal personal interests, alliances and potential conflicts of interest.
The failure of the candidates to be open about their details has angered at least one Tweed Daily News reader, Lisa Townsend of Murwillumbah, who reckons Ms Milne wins "the award for the least information given".
Ms Milne drew a line through the optional Section B which asks candidates questions about their qualifications, employment, membership of organisation, nomination by any registered party, age and relevant experience for "civic office".
Ms Townsend pointed out Ms Milne was "the only candidate to draw a line straight through the whole section".
"Apparently voters have no right to know anything about the head of the Green ticket. Not even her age," she added.
Group B ticket leader and member of the 1999 to 2004 council Phil Youngblutt left the section blank, while former mayor Warren Polglase answered only the questions on his date of birth (1941) and whether he was nominated by any registered party (answer: No).
Ms Milne said she did not realise the answers would go on the Internet.
"It's not a good look, we agree," she added.
"But we do have more information we will make public than would fit on there.
"I actually thought that was just something the media could access and I thought I had given more than that information to the media already."
Ms Milne said the information would be provided in media releases and on a website being prepared for the Tweed Byron Greens.
Mr Youngblutt said he did not think the extra paperwork was warranted and also did not realise the answers would be placed on the Internet.
One of the candidates who most comprehensively filled out the section, Dot Holdom who heads group H, said there was little excuse for not filling out Section B, although it was optional.
"The forms are also posted in the polling booths," Ms Holdom said. "You have got to ask the question 'can't they read or do they not want the people to know the truth?'."
But Ms Holdom said she refused to fill out her phone and email contact details, advising her team members to do the same, after abusive calls she received in the 2004 election.