Anti-Sharia Law group secretly supporting candidates

The Kawana Community Hall was alive for a forum on Sharia Law and Political Islam in 2013.
The Kawana Community Hall was alive for a forum on Sharia Law and Political Islam in 2013. john mccutcheon

A GROUP of Sunshine Coast residents opposed to Islam and sharia law will not reveal which Sunshine Coast Council candidates they are supporting in the upcoming election.

While not officially endorsing candidates, Sunshine Coast Safe Communities secretary Raewyn Hutchins said they were assisting a number of candidates with their election campaigns.

Ms Hutchins said the group was also meeting with other candidates to canvass their views on a range of issues, expecting the number of candidates the group was backing could increase.

"We will support any councillor and any candidate who puts their constituents first," Mrs Hutchins said.

She said the support was not financial and the group would not apply pressure to candidates, but rather offer logistical support and assistance on polling day.

When asked whether she would identify the candidates receiving support, she declined.

"Do I want to identify them? No I don't," Mrs Hutchins said.

It is believed the group is backing a number of candidates across multiple divisions.

Mike Deans, a Division 7 Independent candidate, has his residential address listed with the Electoral Commission Queensland at the same Buderim address as Mrs Hutchins and her husband Ron, president of the Sunshine Coast Safe Communities.

Mr Deans explained he was "personal friends" with a lot of people within Sunshine Coast Safe Communities and while he was not a member of the group, he lived with Mr and Mrs Hutchins when he was on the Coast, in between commuting to Brisbane for work.

"I have a lot in common with their (Sunshine Coast Safe Communities) views in regards to a safe community and what they're trying to promote," Mr Deans said.

Mrs Hutchins said she would be revealing the identities of those being supported to members of Sunshine Coast Safe Communities once their list was finalised.

When asked whether she thought the community would like to know or if she would like to know if a pro-Mosque or pro-Islam group was supporting candidates on the Coast she replied:

"They'd (community) probably like to know, I'd probably like to know."

Topics:  coastcouncil2016

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