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Beattie's backdown on Labor rorters sadly predictable: Abetz.

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Media Release SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Special Minister of State

Liberal Senator for Tasmania


A18/01 11 July 2001

Beattie's Backdown on Labor Rorters Sadly Predictable -Abetz The Labor Party’s plan to do nothing about electoral fraud, and to allow Labor rorters to go unpunished, is proceeding to schedule, Special Minister of State Senator Eric Abetz said today.

"The latest development, Queensland Labor signalling that it will expel only one rorter - when as many as 19 originally faced expulsion from the Party - was sadly predictable.

"And of course, by leaving the decision to a panel of three ‘independent experts’, Peter Beattie can shrug his shoulders, assume a pained expression and say that, while he’s angry and disappointed, there’s nothing he can do about it.

"So Joan Budd will join the long list of confessed Labor rorters who, despite Peter Beattie’s sanctimonious promises, have been allowed to stay in the Labor Party and, in some cases, have been given new jobs with Labor politicians.

"Some media reports suggest the final decision has been deferred until August. Peter Beattie will be hoping that Queenslanders will have forgotten his hollow promises by then. For the record, Peter Beattie said the following on November 27, 2000:

We are determined to clean up the party, to clean up the electoral system. The scum who’ve been responsible for this are going to be squashed.

"Having reneged on the first promise, to clean up the party, Peter Beattie is also reneging on the second - to clean up the electoral system. Like all other Labor States, the Beattie Government has indicated that it will not support the presentation of identification at the time of enrolment.

"Justice Shepherdson recommended that identification be required of those seeking to enrol, as did the recent report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

"Presenting identification at the time of enrolment was one of the provisions of the Electoral And Referendum Amendment Act (No.1) 1999 . Despite Labor’s opposition, the Senate eventually passed this provision. But the Labor Premiers, and most notoriously Peter Beattie, are now opposing its implementation by refusing to support the necessary regulations.

"Peter Beattie’s shameful but transparent strategy to do absolutely nothing about Labor electoral fraud, and to allow its perpetrators to go unpunished, proceeds to schedule," Senator Abetz said.


Media inquiries:  Michael Barrett 02 6277 7600 or 0419 276 490