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Anzac election billboard raises concerns

An army veteran says “wilful political campaigning” has no place on Anzac Day.

Liberal candidate for the regional Victorian seat of Corangamite, Stephanie Asher, has apologised for a rental truck hired as part of her campaign driving past an Anzac Day service at Drysdale.

“I am so sorry that this occurred,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

“I acknowledged the inappropriateness of the truck’s presence and apologise unreservedly.”

The past two federal election campaigning periods have overlapped with the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted he wanted to run “full term” meaning the election campaign would again clash with Anzac Day.

Hawthorn RSL sub branch President Lucas Moon, who served in the army for 14 years, said it is important that Anzac Day be respected, but it was not necessary to shift the election campaign timing.

“If candidates respect the day there is no need to shift it – fighting for democracy is what Anzac Day is about at the end of the day,” he told AAP.

Mr Moon says that all federal, state and local candidates were invited in unofficial capacities to attend Anzac Day ceremonies in his area.

“Anzac Day is apolitical and well above that politics,” he said.

However, he added in relation to the mobile billboard: “If there was wilful political campaigning on Anzac Day it would be looked upon critically.”

Corangamite is a target seat for the coalition, held by Labor’s Libby Coker on a margin of one per cent.

This story was written by the author in a personal capacity.

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