Threat rocks Ipswich council election candidate
THE IPSWICH council election has taken a dramatic turn with Division 6 candidate Cate Carter blackmailed not to run by an individual purporting to be a unionist and supporter of the Labor Party
Ms Carter, who reported the threat to Ipswich CIB, has brushed aside the threat and will submit her nomination to stand in the March 19 ballot.
The 29-year-old Wulkuraka mother of two, who works for emergency services, was preparing to organise her campaign material last week when she received a Facebook message by a person claiming to be Layla Florence.
The message said this: "Cate, I've heard recently of your intention to run against Cheryl Bromage in Division 6. I live in Division 3, but...have family in Division 6. I am also heavily involved in the union movement. I will have you know that we know about the information you leaked against Jo-Ann Miller and we also know about your extra curriculum activities. If you decide to run against Cheryl Bromage or for any division of ICC - your past will be exposed".
The so-called Layla Florence, who is not on the electoral role in Ipswich, has withdrawn the Facebook page but a person by the same name has a Twitter feed.
The QT examined all of the tweets of 'Layla Florence' and it is clear that they are pro-union, pro- Labor party and anti-LNP. Sean Choat comes in for special criticism.
Council matters do not figure in the tweets at all, with the focus on state and federal politics.
In an intriguing twist the Twitter account was shut down yesterday, after being up for at least a year previous to that. The QT took screen shots of them.
Ms Carter told the QT she did not know who was behind the message but said the Twitter account of the culprit showed they were "very much active within the Labor Party and unions".
She said she would not be bullied by a person who hid behind a cloak of anonymity and that the accusations in the message to her were untrue.
"I'm 1000% sure I had nothing to do with Jo-Ann Miller's demise," Ms Carter said.
"I have never done anything illegal and I have nothing to hide.
"That is why am still going to run.
"But I was shaking when I got the message. It was a shock.
"Nominations haven't opened yet and I am already receiving these kind of messages.
"These people seem to want to stop you before you even begin.
"But you can't let them win, especially when they do it anonymously."
Cr Bromage is not a follower of 'Layla Florence', neither is she being followed by the mystery individual.
While a frightening experience for Ms Carter, someone may well be also trying to upset Cr Bromage's campaign.
The revelations of the threat stunned Cr Bromage, who said she had always run fair campaigns and had no knowledge of who 'Layla Florence' was.
"I think this is unacceptable and something that I don't condone at all," she said.
"I have never heard of this person and never received any correspondence or anything myself.
"The Mayor rang me (about the Facebook message) and I was in shock that it had been sent.
"This is something that damages me.
"I don't run negative campaigns and I don't support negative campaigns, so I was quite stunned.
"I think people need to run on their merits and on being connected to the community and working for the community, not only in an elective role but in a volunteer role.
"All of this makes me feel a bit sick."
Ms Carter said she had nothing to hide and clarified the so-called "extra-curricular" activities referred to by Layla Florence.
"My actual extra curricular activities are working overtime at a job I absolutely love, being a fun mum, using the local dog park with my Golden Labrador, coffee with friends and politicians; attending fundraisers and events all around Ipswich," she said.
Ms Carter, who will run as an independent, said she cared deeply about her division
"I live here. I bought a house here and my kids go to school here.
"This is my area. You have got to run where you feel passionate."
The QT asked Ms Miller if she wished to comment but she did not reply before deadline.