Queensland referendum: 'No' case supporters complain 'Yes' pamphlets more prominent

Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) says it did not choose to give the "yes" case more prominence in material published ahead of a referendum next month on fixed four-year parliamentary terms.

Pamphlets have been distributed to all households setting out the cases for and against longer terms.

Supporters of the "no" case have complained that the rival argument is in larger and bolder print and is more eye-catching.

Lawyer and "no" campaigner David Muir said the material may be in breach of Section 12 (4) of the Queensland Referendums Act 1997.

"This section prohibits the format and printing style from unfairly favouring one argument," Mr Muir said.

I think it's a little bit ridiculous to have a brochure put out which is prettier than the other.

Shane Knuth, Katter's Australian Party MP

An ECQ spokesman said the Statements of Argument were written and formatted by the Members of Parliament who voted for and against the bill to hold the referendum.

"The ECQ was under instructions not to alter the formatting of the arguments and consequently we have printed them as they were submitted to us," the spokesman said.

The "no" case was written by Katter's Australian Party (KAP) which is opposed to four-year terms.

KAP MP Shane Knuth said the ECQ should have changed the layout so both pamphlets looked the same.

"The advice we received from the department and the Commission was that there would be no discrimination in regard to the advertisement of the 'no' case and the 'yes' case, one over the other," he said.

"I think it's a little bit ridiculous to have a brochure put out which is prettier than the other."

The "yes" case is supported by both major parties.

The Clerk of the Parliament said he has had no contact with the ECQ about the matter, and has no power to direct or instruct anyone about it.

SOurce: ABC News

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