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Labor rattles the can for donations as voting starts in by-election

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Votes are already being lodged in the Stretton by-election, which followed the death of incumbent Labor MP Duncan Pegg last month.

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Stretton, in Brisbane’s south-east suburbs, is one of the city’s most multicultural electorates and has been held by Labor for all but one term in the past two decades.

Labor has preselected James Martin, a staffer and former council candidate, who will go up against police officer and former Queenslander of the Year Jim Bellos, running for the Liberal National Party.

Despite being odds-on favourites, Labor state secretary Julie-Ann Campbell this week sent an email to supporters saying “we need to double-down and get our message to as many people in Stretton as possible”.

“Labor needs your support to keep Queenslanders safe and strong with our plan for economic recovery,” Campbell wrote.

“We need to do everything we can to get behind Annastacia Palaszczuk and James Martin, so we can keep delivering for Queenslanders.”

The email asked supporters to “donate the price of two morning coffees,” or $8, to help Labor retain the seat.

The LNP, meanwhile, is raising funds for Bellos, using its website – with preset amounts from $25 to $2500 – to promise “every dollar raised will be used directly on Jim’s campaign for Stretton”.

Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said Stretton voters had been given 10 days of early voting to help make their choice and avoid crowds on July 24.

With multiple elections undertaken in Queensland during the first year of the pandemic, Vidgen said COVID-safe measures were in place, including using the Check In Qld app at venues.

“This is the same app most of us are familiar with and use for checking in when shopping or going to a café or restaurant,” Vidgen said.

“In addition to registering with the app and in line with previous elections, ECQ election staff will ensure voting areas are regularly cleaned and recommended numbers are maintained within voting venues.”

The other candidates in the by-election are: Jazzy Melhop from the Informed Medical Options Party, who has campaigned for an end to vaccination pressures, such as No Jab, No Play rules;  Suzanne Clarke from the Animal Justice Party; and Andrea Wildin from The Greens.

The Labor government of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will hold power regardless of the result.

 

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