With the federal election less than three weeks away the message being touted by the major parties seems to be that size matters but the law doesn't.
Oversized election posters for the Liberal, Labor and Nationals candidates have appeared prominently displayed on both public and private land in the electorate. However, these signs require a DA and without such, are illegal.
Under the state Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, there are restrictions on electoral material in public places. Exemptions on the DA requirement apply for any sign of 0.8 square metres. This is the usual size for the election corflutes. There is no exemption for the billboard-sized signs that appeared over the past few weeks.
According to a spokesperson for Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, no development applications have been received by council for electoral material. One councillor has had some signs removed, but, he says, they are replaced almost immediately.
The sting in the tail of this regulation is that for signs displayed on private land, the landowner is liable for any charges arising from non-compliance.
The council spokesperson said that the penalty for non-compliance "would typically be $1500 for an individual or $3000 for a corporation, assuming the sign is a class 10 structure ad on residential land. There are other variables."
Nationals candidate, Sophie Wade, when asked about the legality of her signage, simply commented that "everyone's doing it."
In last Friday's wind complaints were being made on social media about signs blowing around on the Kings Highway, creating a traffic hazard and also littering.