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Pocock attack signs breach electoral laws

One of the signs placed around Canberra.

SIGNAGE depicting ACT independent Senate candidate David Pocock as secretly a member of the Greens Party has been deemed in breach of electoral laws by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

The signs, orchestrated by conservative lobby group Advance Australia, show the former Wallaby wearing a Greens Party shirt underneath his suit and seem to question the candidate’s true political footing as an independent.

In a statement released this morning (May 16), the AEC said it considers the advertising in breach of section 329 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, meaning it is “likely to mislead or deceive an elector”, according to the Act.

The AEC also found Advance Australia’s attack ads on Warringah independent candidate Zali Steggall to be in breach of the laws.

“The signage contains no other images or phrases that correct the representation made by the images. Both candidates in question are not endorsed by the Australian Greens,” reads the statement.

While Advance Australia does not agree that the signs breach the Electoral Act, it has, to avoid the AEC bringing legal proceedings, agreed not to further display the signage without first providing the AEC with 48 hours’ notice.

Mr Pocock said he has today written to the AEC requesting that Advance Australia be prosecuted for the breach.

“I am not, and have never been, a member of the Greens nor endorsed as their candidate,” said Mr Pocock.

“I am disappointed that it has taken more than three weeks for this decision to be reached. We first lodged a complaint with the AEC on April 26. More than 40,000 Canberrans have already voted at pre-poll and another 12,000 by postal.”

“We have received hundreds of emails, calls and messages from people across the ACT outraged and confused by Advance Australia’s false and misleading advertising.”

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4 Responses to Pocock attack signs breach electoral laws

David Pnocock has green ideology!! says: May 16, 2022 at 3:45 pm

David Pnocock is a green in his ideology though. Silent P in his last name, too.

Reply
Bruce Carmichael says: May 16, 2022 at 6:59 pm

A lot of people have already voted after being duped by Advance Australia material. Does this render the result in ACT invalid … Or would that serve certain candidates purpose. Surely they should be prosecuted for this?

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Barbara Moore says: May 16, 2022 at 7:13 pm

The law for the Australian Electoral Commission to consider was clearly established following the last Federal election. In Garrett v Liu (2019) 375 ALR 117, the Federal Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, found that the corflutes used by the Liberal candidate for Chisholm, Gladys Liu, “were likely to mislead or deceive an elector in relation to the casting of a vote” in contravention of s 329 (1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. This judgement overturned the view of the AEC which had earlier found that the corflutes had not contravened that Act. Why then did the AEC in its initial response to the Pocock complaint weeks ago wrongly advise the corflutes were fine because they were authorised at the bottom – no matter that it was by the conservative political lobbying group, Advance Australia and not by the Independent D Pocock? Surely it was also questionable to display the Greens logo without permission? What agreement allows the untruthful, deceitful and unlawful signage to be further displayed “without first providing the AEC with 48 hours’ notice”?
Bring on the Federal Integrity Commission.

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