Belmont councillor says local govt election campaigning getting nasty

Belmont councillor says local govt election campaigning getting nasty

A BELMONT councillor has raised concerns about the local election campaign getting nasty mere weeks after it began.

Speaking to the Southern Gazette, incumbent councillor Lauren Cayoun said her campaign material had been targeted at Rivervale’s Kooyong Road shops and voicemails had been left on her phone urging her to “pull out of the race” unless she wanted to be “humiliated” at a council meeting.

“It began the second I started putting out my materials,” Ms Cayoun said.

“I’ve put fliers on the public notice board at Kooyong Road, I’m up to eight times now in two weeks. They’re usually taken down within 24 hours.”

She said she checked with and sought permission from the shopkeepers with no issue.

“It’s disappointing on one hand, because you want a fair race. You want to be able to fairly represent what you want to do for the community,” Ms Cayoun said.

She said the repeated phone contact had become bullying in nature.

“I’m happy to answer questions about my record and decisions, but not a personal kind,” she said.

“There’s an element of it that makes me feel unsafe. People in public life get criticised for their ideas, which is fine, but when your phone number and address is out there, and I have a young daughter at home, it’s not a comfortable feeling to know there are people out there who have these details.

“It’s not something I think anybody vying for council should have to put up with.”

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