28 April 2022

Corflute wars: Zed denies links as Pocock declares independence

| Ian Bushnell
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Advance Australia Pocock corflute

The offending Advance Australia David Pocock corflute. Photo: Twitter.

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has denied any links to the murky right-wing group lining Canberra roads with corflutes suggesting his Independent Senate rival David Pocock is a closet Green.

He has, however, called on the former Wallaby captain noted for his climate activism to explain his differences with the Greens.

Mr Pocock said the corflutes depicting him unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a Greens t-shirt was part of a smear campaign by Advance Australia, where former right-wing Liberal MLA Vicki Dunne is a director.

He had complained to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) but it ruled the signs were allowable under the rules.

Mr Pocock said the signs misrepresented him and he laid out his policy differences with the Greens.

Senator Seselja said what third party groups did was up to them.

“I know Vicki Dunne but I’ve had no discussions with her on this,” he said.


READ ALSO: Senate race heats up: Labor preferences Pocock; Libs no one; Independents disappoint Greens


Senator Seselja said it was not unreasonable that Mr Pocock should be compared to the Greens given he had illegally chained himself to a bulldozer to stop a development.

“So he obviously has a number of views that are closely aligned to the Greens party,” he said.

“It’s up to him to explain the differences between him and the Greens party.”

Senator Seselja said that Mr Pocock should take up his concerns with Advance Australia rather than blame the Liberal party but rounded on him and Independent Kim Rubenstein for taking “significant money” from the Climate 200 group, which had doctored headlines to attack him.

The AEC said the sign only suggested Mr Pocock had a link or similarities with the Greens rather than attempting to confuse people into believing that party actually endorses him.

“This would mean it is not captured under s329 of the Electoral Act but rather something for voters to stop and consider. Our Stop and Consider campaign is reminding voters of their role in this regard,” a spokesperson said.

“That being said, a candidate themselves can seek an injunction or refer to the AFP what they believe to be a crime under the Electoral Act.”

READ ALSO Seselja confirms $15 million Vikings Park commitment

Mr Pocock said the AEC’s decision was disappointing, especially given the number of voters who had contacted his campaign genuinely confused and misled by these advertisements.

He said it showed the need for federal truth in political advertising laws, something he had been calling for for a number of years.

“Canberrans want greater integrity, not more scare campaigns,” Mr Pocock said.

“I am running as an Independent in order to better represent all Canberrans right across the political spectrum, not to silence one part of the community or another.”

Mr Pocock said climate was not the wedge issue Senator Seselja and Advance Australia want it to be.

“My position is aligned with the majority of Australians and Canberrans who want to see pragmatic action that brings down emissions while cutting household bills,” he said.


READ ALSO: Seselja defends ACT spending record, but few answers for critical hospitality staff shortages


Mr Pocock said he supported a strong defence budget and shared concerns about the Solomons’ new security agreement with China.

He did not support the Greens’ proposal for more than $500 billion in new taxes and differed from them in his support of Voice, Treaty and Truth per the Uluru Statement from the Heart, as First Nations peoples have asked.

Labor Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh said Senator Seselja was a man under pressure whose backers were resorting to dirty tricks.

“These signs should be taken down. They have no place in a civilised democracy,” Dr Leigh said. “He should tell these lobbyists to take down these signs.”

The Greens, whose corflutes are restricted to private residences, have again called for roadside election signs to be banned, singling out the ‘dishonest’ corflutes from Advance Australia.

Candidate for Canberra Tim Hollo said it was past time to get rid of annoying electoral signs.

“People wouldn’t put these dishonest attack ads in their own front yards – it’s only because they’re anonymously put up on the streets that this type of misleading campaigning continues,” he said.

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We had advertising material from Advance Australia saying they had erected the David Pocock corflute depicting him as a Green. Zed Seselja is an LNP candidate. It would be good if people checked their facts before making false statements.

HiddenDragon7:00 pm 29 Apr 22

“These signs should be taken down. They have no place in a civilised democracy,” Dr Leigh said. “

Says the front-bench representative of a party which is happy, in a most uncivilised way, to chase votes by terrorising age pensioners with a scare campaign about all of them being put on a cashless debit card under a re-elected Coalition government, even though that claim has been found to be untrue by the ABC and The Guardian –

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-24/fact-check-cashless-debit-card-election-scare-alert/100932808

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/18/factcheck-is-there-any-truth-to-scare-campaigns-about-the-cashless-debit-card-and-retiree-tax

Weirdly, I don’t know why the cashless debit card isn’t a good idea for every welfare recipient.

Seems very strange to provide welfare from other taxpayers but then not care what it is actually spent on.

Capital Retro5:16 pm 29 Apr 22

All about Byron Fay, Executive Director of Climate 200

Note his specialty as being “working at the intersection of climate policy and politics……..”

https://au.linkedin.com/in/byron-fay-26918846

Also a lot of people with Labor and GetUp connections working there sharing a common address with another “independent” named Steggal.

So what CapitalRetro? Independents are not duty bound to vote in a certain way as opposed to Zed and Katie who have a ministry or potential ministry to protect. Your attempt to associate a candidate’s (who is not actually running in ACT) real or perceived links to particular organisations is irrelevant. You obviously are a rusted on Conservative voter, as is your right, but save the tired old “a vote for … is a vote for …” rhetoric for your fellow blind followers of Zed. Hopefully the majority of Canberrans will look at what each candidate stands for, particularly the Independents, and vote for what’s best ACT not a particular candidate’s ministerial career.

Capital Retro9:28 am 30 Apr 22

Independents backed by Climate 200 are all “value aligned” and will vote against all coalition policies just as “independent” Climate 200 backed Zali Stegall has in the current term of government.

https://www.climate200.com.au/candidates

The founders/s of Climate 200 have vested interests in renewable industry that is only viable when massively subsidized by the taxpayer.

Unlike you, CapitalRetro I decided to do a bit of fact checking on Zali Stegall’s voting record to see if she “will vote (has voted) against all coalition policies”. Her record on 325 votes legislation comes out as: With Govt = 165, With Opposition = 127, With Crossbench only = 22 and Abstain = 11. Looks like the voting record of someone who actually considers the vote before her – you know someone indepedent of a particular party? I’m sure Zed’s and Katie’s records would show 100% along party lines. Seriously, CR, I don’t know why you keep on coming up with tiresome references to Ms Stegall – you do know she’s not running here in the ACT don’t you?

Yep – me too, moved David Pocock way up my preferences list thanks to the very determined efforts to misrepresent and malign him. If the competition is that worried – and they evidently are – then all the more reason to vote for DP!

Thanks to Advance Australia, Pocock is now become higher among my preferences.
For me, ‘zed’ does come at the end of an alphabet soup.

https://www.climate200.com.au/about-us

Looks fine to me, and a damn sight more transparent than Lib/Nat fund raising and grey corruption.

The LIB/NATs and their fanatical supports are really loosing it over a bunch of independents running on the issues that matter with some funding to help nullify the influence of right wing press

Capital Retro12:02 pm 29 Apr 22

Please identify who the “right wing press” is?

The poster boy for right wing biased press is NewsCorp which includes Sky News, and about 100 paper and digital newspapers across the country.

https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/the-effect-of-right-wing-bias-in-australias-media,14569

Capital Retro4:15 pm 29 Apr 22

I had never heard of the Independent Australia Media until I read your comment. I no longer subscribe to online newspapers and such but I watch all news programs on TV and note that Sky News is the only outlet that reports everything.

Your Independent Australia describes itself as “a progressive journal focusing on politics, democracy, the environment, Australian history and Australian identity.” These subject matters are already covered extensively by Nine (Fairfax), ABC, Guardian and ACM who own the Canberra times and there is too much commentary (noise) and not enough news from these outlets. In fact, that’s about all they cover hence the necessity to seek information elsewhere.

It’s usual these days to label anything that doesn’t follow the left narrative as “right wing bias”.

David Pocock, an answer to these questions might clear up this issue.
Have you ever been a member of any political party in the past, if yes, which party and when?
Have you ever entered a preselection race to become the candidate for any political party in the past, if yes, which party and when?

I like David Pocock very much. He’s a decent and principled man. But he has undoubtedly aligned himself with some extreme green positions and now appears to be taking money from green interests for his campaign. He who pays the piper calls the tune, as they say…

The poster serves a useful function by informing voters that Pocock has accepted funds and endorsement from Climate 200, so is actually a Greens type wolf in independent clothing.
In is important that voters are fully informed of who they are voting for and all candidates must be honest and up front about their background, interests, mentors and agenda. This includes Kim Rubenstein, whose former Zionist activities and more recent senior positions in ACT Jewish lobby organisations should be clarified.

Nothing like an early morning goose stepping session.

Not at all. Democracy depends on transparency so that voters can make informed choices knowing the organisations a candidate is a part of, endorsed by, in lockstep with or a puppet of. A candidate for public office should be discredited if they fail to be honest about themselves in their campaign for a position that requires personal honesty about their credentials and motivations. Dishonesty is a characteristic of corruption.

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