EDITORIAL: Stand up and make your vote count
IT'S not our job to tell you how to vote.
Let's get that point cleared up straight away.
The easiest thing in the world for someone who doesn't get their own way - and the exclusive say over an issue in the newspaper - is to make accusations of bias.
It's as predictable as it is head-shakingly annoying.
But The Daily Mercury's policy on election coverage is as simple as this: Quite simply, ours is not the business of telling you who to vote for.
Our job is to give you the facts, to present each candidate on a level playing field and provide you with all the information you need to make a decision that is considered, informed and right for you.
Until March 19, we will bring you the region's most comprehensive, transparent and, most importantly, fair and impartial coverage of the candidates, their platforms and what they have to say about the matters that are important to you. Coverage for each candidate is measured and monitored. We audit our copy. We measure and record the amount of coverage given to candidates and endeavour to be balanced.
We ensure each and every candidate - be they running for councillor or mayoral positions - is contacted and given every opportunity to have their profile and platforms presented in print and online at www. dailymercury.com.au.
Election coverage is something we take very seriously and The Mercury's election team is the most experienced in the region, with more than 110 years of collective experience in political - and, specifically, election - reporting.
This election, every candidate will have the chance to have their credentials presented across all of our print and digital platforms.
A number of live election forums will also be held to enable voters to see first-hand what candidates have to say about the issues they deem as important.
The dates for these events will be published in The Daily Mercury and via our social and digital platforms.
Our role in your community is to give your candidates the chance to make their case for election.
You cannot be prepared to vote if you don't know who these people are or what they stand for.
So, Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday voters - we want to hear from you.
Tell us what matters to you - and we will help you make sure you have what you need to make your vote count on March 19.
So, candidates: Play nice.
Let the games begin!