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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5510

Mr ROBB (12:34 PM) —by leave—I move opposition amendments (1) and (2) as circulated:

(1)    Schedule 1, page 5, line 13, omit “10 penalty units”, substitute “50 penalty units”.

(2)    Schedule 1, page 5, line 30, omit “10 penalty units”, substitute “50 penalty units”.

The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (How-to-Vote Cards and Other Measures) Bill 2010 will be supported by the coalition but we ask the government to consider what we believe to be an important overall amendment that we have just put before the House. It is notable that this bill arises because of a deliberate scam by the ALP in the recent South Australian state election yet if you look at the bill you find, despite all of the huffing and puffing that has gone on and the distancing of the government from the deliberate attempt to defraud the state election, that this bill has a punishment which does not match the crime.

You will recall, Mr Deputy Speaker Slipper, that the how-to-vote cards that were handed out appeared to be official Family First how-to-vote cards but the preferencing order favoured the ALP candidates. It is true that there were two or three seats which hung on the outcome of this fraud that took place. In many respects the South Australian state Labor Party government is illegitimate, because it won an election on the back of a fraudulent activity. This is at the heart of this bill. It is the reason for this bill. Those on the other side, who said they were horrified and disgusted by this move, have put forward a bill with a punishment, if this action is taken again, of $1,100. There are many Labor operatives who would gladly put $1,100 on the table to ensure the victory of a local ALP candidate through false preferencing arrangements. There needs to be a penalty of 50 or 100 units rather than the one that is proposed.

The amendment that we have put forward asks for a penalty of 50 units or $5,500 for anyone involved in any action which seeks to defraud an election. If the Labor Party were genuinely concerned about the actions that were taken and if they were true to all the rhetoric that has gone on since that humiliating and disgraceful activity undertaken by the Labor Party, then they would support this amendment. I ask the House in toto to support this amendment.