SIGNS signs, everywhere are signs; choking up the scenery, breaking my mind...
It's an old song but its verses have a modern ring, with the Gympie region two weeks out from a council election and the multiple signs of its 31 candidates popping up like big, glossy mushrooms on just about every prominent patch of roadside grass.
Voters have barely had time to catch their breath following the state government election, and indeed some signs from that political race have lingered on well past their used by date, adding to the visual assault.
The temptation to take it out on the signs seems impossible to resist for some local residents, and sign snatching, uprooting, knocking over and defacing is a not uncommon occurrence.
Mayoral candidate Ron Dyne said this week 15 of his election signs had gone missing so far and others had been pulled out or knocked over.
Other candidates have also had signs pulled out or stolen.
Cr Dyne said he had put more signs out yesterday and his friends and family would be "babysitting" some of them over the next few nights to try to catch those responsible or at least get a number plate to inform police.
The advertised image of at least one other council candidate has gained, at different times, extra hair and even devil horns.
But interfering with political signs is no laughing matter. Corflutes are not cheap to produce, and vandalising or stealing them can lead to some hefty fines or even jail for those proven to be responsible.
Gympie police said yesterday interfering with election signs was covered by normal property laws pertaining to wilful damage and that final penalty would rest with the presiding magistrate.
The amalgamated Gympie Regional Council introduced uniform election sign laws late last year.
Election signs cannot be displayed before the commencement of the election period (28 days preceding an election) and have to be taken down within seven days after an election.