As print and sign companies begin to deliver hundreds of thousands of printed plastic corflute signs for candidates in the upcoming federal election, independent South Australian Senator Rex Patrick has called for a permanent ban on their use in all future state and federal election campaigns. Wideformat Online disagrees with him.
Disclaimer by Wideformatonline.com Publisher Andy McCourt
The following news release came from the office of Senator Rex Patrick of the Rex Patrick Team political party. It containes strident language and cancel-culture emotive phraseology unsubstantiated by proof. We acknowledge Sntr. Patrick's democratic right to vent his opinions, and also to have, or not have, his 'mug' on any poster he wants, but in the interest of accuracy, we wish to note the following:
- Corflute® is a registered trademark of Corex Australia Pty Ltd, as is Fluteboard®. These are Polypropylene sheets used in Packaging, Signage and other areas such as protecting trees during construction and roadwork. Corflute is a highly versatile, sustainable in the circular economy, useful and 100% recyclable Australian-made product and we are of the opinion that Sntr. Patrick's 'environmentally wasteful' assertion is misleading. Corex and recently-merged Megara, plus the hundreds of businesses that used Corflute products, employ thousands of Australians.
- For those prefering a non-plastic material, there are several alternatives made from moisture-protected fibreboards, such as Oppoga and Converd. These are FSC-certified. Corflute is the least expensive of these options.
- Election posters, signs and banners are part of the Democratic process, as practiced in all developed democracies at election time. For Sntr. Patrick to say they are: "fuelling the insatiable demand for money that corrupts our political life," is devoid of any proof and frankly, irresponsible. We would suggest that his predecessor and former head of his eponymous party Nick Xenophon, for whom Patrick was Senior Advisor, tended to demonstrate commercial bias when acting for banned Chinese telco Huawi. Patrick himself has had commercial involvement in defence technology contracting and a Naval training company. As a proud former RAN submariner, he would no doubt have excellent knowledge of sonar and electronics, and we applaud his achievements and passion for keeping manufacturing in South Australia.
- Sntr. Patrick says: “Corflute mania has long been a feature of our election campaigns, but enough is enough. We have to ban them. There's no evidence that they do anything to help voters. This is a political arms race in which it appears everyone is firing blanks.” We would suggest that this strident generalisation is helpful to no one except his own political ambition and that voters do like to be informed and entertained by election signage. Some even like to graffitti them - again that's their right so long as it is lawful.
- Sign and display printers, and manufacturer Corex, look forward to elections as a filip to business and work long hours meeting deadlines and helping to ensure the democratic process. To suggest they "corrupt political life" or fuel it, beggars belief.
- Finally, yes, some roadside disposal of post-election signage is incorrect but the products, correctly disposed of and reaching Corex, Visy or any number of plastics recycling centres, are among the most sustainable options available and serve a very useful purpose in our economy.
|Environmentally wasteful? Rubbish!|
The announcement reads: "Corflutes are environmentally wasteful,” says Senator Patrick. “They’re an eyesore along our roadsides. Putting corflutes up on stobie poles (the Stobie Pole was an Adelaide invention used for carrying electrical cables), can be dangerous for the volunteers that mount them and the cable ties used to attach them can be harmful to our wildlife.
"They’re an expensive and environmentally destructive vanity exercise, fuelling the insatiable demand for money that corrupts our political life. I'm promising you'll not see my mug on any stobie pole (ibid.) in the coming election campaign.”
Patrick said South Australians have just faced “a tidal wave of visual pollution during the State election campaign…they don't need another six weeks of vanity posters staring at them as they drive about the streets.
“Corflute mania has long been a feature of our election campaigns, but enough is enough. We have to ban them. There's no evidence that they do anything to help voters. This is a political arms race in which it appears everyone is firing blanks.”
Patrick said that after the South Australian Marshall Government failed to secure Parliamentary approval for restrictions on election corflutes, “an advertising contest spread across Adelaide’s suburbs, along our major roads and through other SA cities and towns for the recent state election campaign."
After the State election, thousands of corflutes were dumped into rubbish bins and landfill, he said.
Noosaville, Queensland-based Focus Banners is one of many sign companies now offering paperboard signs as a “sustainable paper replacement for foam board and corflute.” Focus says its recyclable Oppboga Board is water-resistant but not recommended for damp or humid outdoor conditions, unless in a frame.
Last year, Brisbane City Council introduced new restrictions for election signs and corflutes on private property and at polling stations, reversing a six-year old ruling that allowed for unlimited election signage.
“The major political parties don’t care about our environment,” Senator Patrick says. "They’re happy to foul SA landscapes with pictures of grinning political drones. And they’re all too happy to be beholden to big political donors who fund all this waste."
End of statement.
A Corflute fact sheet is available on this link for all to view, including Senators.