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Sheik Senate bid more evidence of GetUp's partisanship

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SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Liberal Senator for Tasmania

23 October 2012

Sheik Senate Bid More Evidence of GetUp’s Partisanship

"Simon Sheik's tilt for Greens preselection for the ACT Senate again puts the lie to GetUp's claims to be independent."

"Moreover, while the Liberal Party has never taken public support for granted, the Greens' constant inflation of their chances of gaining an ACT Senator is particularly hard to swallow given the collapse in their vote on Saturday," Liberal Senate Leader, Eric Abetz said today.

Senator Abetz described GetUp! as a partisan left wing union front which uses people's concern about issues to funnel their vote towards Labor and the Greens.

"At the 2010 federal election GetUp mustered a massive, deceptive campaign in the ACT for the benefit of the Greens, to unseat Gary Humphries, but to no avail."

"GetUp's 'scorecard' gave the Greens 'the tick' on every issue and in the ACT a Greens boothworker was photographed blatantly putting up GetUp! material."

"Simon Sheik's bid for Greens pre-selection simply 'bells the cat' and it will be fascinating, should he see off Lin Hatfield Dodds or any other contender, to see GetUp! explain supporting Sheik while simultaneously claiming to be 'independent'."

"Along with accepting a $1.2m donation from the extremist CFMEU at the last federal election, Simon Sheik's bid for a Greens Senate berth will be seen as another betrayal by those genuine GetUp! members who believed the group's claims of independence."

Senator Abetz said that at every federal election the Greens talked up their chance of gaining a Senator in the ACT, only to be soundly beaten by Gary Humphries.

"Last weekend the Canberra Liberals gained 39% of the vote, the Greens only 11%, after suffering a massive 5% swing."

"By contrast, in the 2010 ACT Senate campaign the Liberals attracted 33% of the primary vote, still easily beating the Greens on 23%."

"The Greens losses in the ACT follow declines in support for the Greens in recent Queensland, Northern Territory and NSW local Government elections and make their bid for an ACT Senate seat even harder."

Senator Abetz said the collapse in the ACT Greens vote showed a massive disillusionment in the Greens - in part due to their exposure as hard Left ideologues, wanting to cut Government support for independent schooling and private health insurance while pushing issues like the Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel.

"The announcement of Simon Sheik's bid for Greens preselection - and its backing by Greens Leader, Christine Milne, is an attempt to halt the brand damage being done to the Greens in the ACT, and also, to pre-empt any Senate ambitions by the two or three Greens MLA's who lost their Assembly seats."

"Simon Sheik and Christine Milne must come clean on whether her support for Simon Sheik is motivated by past GetUp! support of the Greens, particularly in the ACT," Senator Abetz concluded.

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