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Big dollars in push to be mayor

IT'S expensive trying to get the city's top job.

That's one thing all six candidates trying for the mayor's job all agree on.

Unlike their state counterparts who have access to millions of dollars worth of advertising courtesy of their respective political parties, aspiring local government candidates pay for everything out of their own pocket.

With this in mind, all six mayoral candidates have adopted some shrewd marketing techniques incorporating social media and IT technologies in order to get their message across.

Incumbent Mayor Peter Taylor is running a slick, low-cost campaign with the help of his son Dan Taylor, who is undertaking a Masters of Communication at the University of New South Wales.

"Using social media platforms is an effective and low-cost way that I can get my message across," Cr Taylor said.

"I am working on a low-cost budget which my son is assisting me with. It is a family effort and I certainly appreciate his time and help," he said.

Toowoomba Regional Council Deputy Mayor Paul Antonio said this campaign was vastly different from others he had been involved with.

"Running for mayor is certainly a hit to the hip pocket, but you are taking a calculated risk," Cr Antonio said.

However, Cr Joe Ramia remained coy as to the true cost of running an election campaign.

"If I have to buy my way to office then I do not deserve to be there," Cr Ramia said.

Mayoral candidate and former Toowoomba Regional Council chief executive Phillip Spencer said using his personal savings to run his campaign was not something to which he had given a lot of thought.

"It certainly is not cheap. However, I believe I am doing something that will benefit the community and it is something that I am extremely passionate about," Mr Spencer said.

Former business development bank manager Rob Berry is no stranger to an election campaign either.

"Technology has definitely advanced tenfold over the past decade," Mr Berry said.

"The use of social media and IT platforms is a very cost effective way to run a campaign.

"They are also extremely effective," he said.

Mayoral candidate Nicholas Hales was contacted, but declined to be interviewed for the story.

Topics:  local elections 2012, local government election, mayoral candidates


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