Local election, northern beaches: Councillor's claim of abuse at polling booth

INVESTIGATION: Safety concerns were raised after alleged incidents of abuse at Narrabeen ward polling booths. Picture: File
INVESTIGATION: Safety concerns were raised after alleged incidents of abuse at Narrabeen ward polling booths. Picture: File

POLICE have investigated claims of verbal abuse and intimidation at local election polling booths on Saturday.

Incumbent councillor Vincent De Luca said his election volunteers, NSW Electoral Commission staff and the public were verbally abused by people holding placards at every polling booths.

"It was at all Narrabeen ward booths, some were abusive and tried to abuse booth workers and an election official," the Independent Narrabeen ward councillor said.

"I felt very concerned for the safety of the community and the booth workers."

Cr De Luca said the people who were being verbally abusive were holding signs that said 'Don't waste your vote on De Luca vote for the community'. He alleges many admitted they had been paid to be there with the signs.

CONCERNED: Councillor Vincent De Luca. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

CONCERNED: Councillor Vincent De Luca. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

While at the Cromer Community Centre polling booth on election day, Cr De Luca said he was abused by a man of Tongan appearance who was holding one of the signs.

"I talked to him in Tongan and he admitted he'd been paid, but he wouldn't tell me by who," the long-serving councillor said.

hb "It's an ICAC matter because it's abuse and intimidation of an electoral official."

Cr De Luca spoke to the Northern Beaches Review after making a statement to police and said officers told him they had interviewed two people in relation to the incidents.

A NSW Police spokesperson said officers attended a location in Narrabeen following reports of a disturbance.

"Following inquiries, officers concluded no further police action was required and referred the issue to the Electoral Commission," they said.

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