ACT News


'Zombie field': Politicians election posters hurting small businesses in Canberra

Adam and Toni Wind cannot wait to see the back of the ACT election.

Five months ago, the couple invested in a Tuggeranong restaurant hoping to sell lunch fare to shoppers and public servants. Instead, they've been inundated with politicians spruiking for votes.

"It's killing our businesses," Ms Wind said.

The couple unwittingly purchased a business 100 metres away from a polling station, which is the closest campaigners can get to the ballot box. Customers must navigate a maze of election material and dodge political conversations.

"Our customers tell us they wait for the campaigners to leave before they come to our shop," Ms Wind said. "We see them looking at our shop from across the road and choosing to avoid it."

Mr Wind said there were up to 15 campaigners outside the shop, the Ace High Eatery and Bar, from 9am to 5pm everyday. Many have been told not to campaign across the road at Hyperdome, which is private property.


The business survived the federal election but Mr Wind is unsure how it will navigated the ACT election.

"We can clearly see a drop in sales over the lunch period and there's another two weeks of this to go," he said.

"They are nice people and I get what they are trying to do it's just that we are the unlucky ones who are 100 metres away from the polling centre."

Ms Wind said the least the campaigners could do was buy their lunch in the store.

"There's no point talking to them," she said. "We complain and they say 'oh yes, sure we will move' only to return once we walk back inside. They clearly don't care."

The couple have tried to make fun of the situation by making political themed specials but their patience is close to breaking.

Describing the front of their restaurant as "a zombie field of politicians and campaigners", they are willing to exchange to election material for free food and drinks.

"At the end of the day we would rather they were not here," she said.

The couple has written to political candidates accusing their campaign of hurting the same small businesses they claim to represent.


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