Zed’s independents warning as Pesec says only he can beat the Senator

Ian Bushnell 8 May 2019 55

Businessman Anthony Pesec: “There simply aren’t enough left-of-centre voters in the ACT to elect two left-of-centre Senators. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has dismissed claims from Independent challenger Anthony Pesec that only he can beat the Senator and right-wing power broker in the race for the two ACT Senate seats on offer on 18 May.

In clear pitch to Liberal voters in the ACT, Mr Pesec said in a statement today that he was the only candidate with a realistic chance of defeating the incumbent, arguing the Greens would not be able to garner enough votes from its side of politics.

“The maths is pretty simple. It is a virtual certainty that Labor will secure the first Senate seat, but there simply aren’t enough left-of-centre voters in the ACT to elect two left-of-centre Senators,” he said.

“I therefore urge voters who believe that Zed Seselja should not be returned to consider this reality.”

Mr Pesec, who has positioned himself as a small-l liberal and green conservative alternative to Senator Seselja said feedback at pre-poll booths showed that many Labor voters understood this and had given him their second preference.

He warned that a vote for any of the minor parties or ungrouped candidates could help re-elect the Senator.

But Senator Seselja said at a funding announcement for the Woden Valley Gymnastic Club at Holder today that a vote for Mr Pesec would only be a vote for Labor or the Greens.

“Traditionally the threat, if you look at the numbers, to our seat comes from the Greens,” he said. “There is no doubt that if we were to lose the seat it would probably be to a Green.

“One of the risks always for people voting for independents is that they would end up with only Labor and Greens representatives in the Senate.”

But Mr Pesec hit back saying Senator Seselja is not really aware of what is happening out on the hustings across Canberra.

“That’s unsurprising given that he’s been up in Warringah campaigning for Tony Abbott,” Mr Pesec said. “There is a clear mood for change in the electorate and an even clearer dissatisfaction with the job that Zed has done over the last term.”

Mr Pesec said the people of the ACT have a viable alternative to both the Greens and Senator Seselja for the second Senate seat.

“For those in the political centre who want to see genuine action on climate change and greater transparency and integrity in Federal parliament, I am their best choice,” he said “Zed is right in one respect – the worst outcome for the ACT would be only Labor and Greens federal representatives. The risk is not with voting for me, but rather that voting or preferencing the Greens may contribute to Zed’s re-election.”

Senator Seselja: a vote for Mr Pesec would only be a vote for Labor or the Greens. File photo.

Mr Pesec, a former investment banker and renewable energy developer, has been campaigning on climate and energy, integrity and transparency in politics and anti-corruption measures such as the need for a national integrity commission, as well as arguing that he would better represent the Canberra community’s interests.

But he has criticised Labor’s tax concession measures including changes to negative gearing and franking credits, something in common with Senator Seselja, who defended the Liberals’ strategy of labelling Labor’s revenue raising measures as taxes.

The Senator denied the Liberals were cheapening the debate in doing this, rejecting Labor’s assertion that it was axing subsidies not imposing new taxes and launching an attack on the grandfathered changes to negative gearing.

Senator Seselja said modelling from the property industry showed that people in the ACT would lose out with rents up on average $56 a week and the value of homes down on average $65,000. He said the building industry believed it would be significantly hit, predicting the loss of about 32,000 jobs nationally.

“We’re certainly not going to back away because Bill Shorten pretends that a $32 billion tax hike on housing is not a tax increase, or he pretends that he doesn’t have a plan to increase taxes on super by $34 billion. With $387 billion of extra taxes were going to argue against them very, very strongly,” Senator Seselja.

Asked what ACT rates had to do with the federal election, referring to the Liberals’ campaign signs on Canberra’s verges, Senator Seselja said Canberrans were experiencing right now what happens when Labor governments can’t control money.

“If that were to happen at a national level not only would they have a huge hike in rates they would be paying more in income tax, they would see the value of their home going down, they would see their rents going up,” he said.

“People are seeing that link, because the Labor Party doesn’t change what it does at an ACT level or a Federal level.”

Senator Seselja, who is battling a concerted Dump Zed campaign, said the feedback from pre-poll centres indicated the election would be very close, with only a few thousand votes in key seats in it.

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55 Responses to Zed’s independents warning as Pesec says only he can beat the Senator
Justin Watson Justin Watson 4:05 pm 08 May 19

If Zed says it can't happen then he must be worried. If you don't vote independent, at least vote for the other Liberal Senate candidate Robert Gunning before Zed. We might finally get both major parties taking notice of Canberra then and politicians not taking top spot on senate tickets for granted.

    Jonny Ell Jonny Ell 5:17 pm 08 May 19

    Vivien Muñoz Durret It is a good article. Pesec has left a very detailed response in the comments. Worth a read: https://citynews.com.au/2019/up-the-hill-and-far-away-from-canberras-issues/

    Ryan Hemsley Ryan Hemsley 5:42 pm 08 May 19

    It would be nice if Pesec4ACT could actually list some of these "recent developments" which he claims have compromised Canberra’s values, as opposed to just leaving it to the reader's imagination.

    Don't get me wrong, there have been some absolute shockers. I would just like to make sure that my vote isn't going to someone who faints at the sight of medium-density housing.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 6:22 pm 08 May 19

    Ryan Hemsley I agree, there seems to be a lot of generic statements thrown around, but very little factual information. Name the development and how it negatively affected Canberra. The major flaw in the argument is there is no evidence that a Liberal government or a different Labor Chief Minister would have done things differently. Liberal premiers in other states have met the same criticism as Barr has.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 6:28 pm 08 May 19

    Vivien Muñoz Durret It may be true, but voting for Zed again is even more pointless. He voted against the ACT's wishes in the same-sex marriage plebiscite. He voted against David Leyonhjelm's legislation giving the ACT the right to not have the federal government overturn its legislation. Now i know not every agrees on the issues, but imagine if you voted in a plebiscite on an issue and you were in the majority, yet one of the people elected to represent you decided not to vote with the publics wishes. The most likely result for the ACT is to elect either a Liberal or independent senator. I'd rather see Anthony Pesec or Robert Gunning than Zed. I don't agree with all of their policies, but the ACT would be better represented by them.

Michael McDonald Michael McDonald 4:10 pm 08 May 19

I mean, clearly Zed knows everything. We must all kneel and prostrate ourselves before the altar of the mighty Seselja.

    Shane McKinnie Shane McKinnie 6:02 pm 08 May 19

    Just remember where to put Zed... As the very last right at the end... Just like in the alphabet

Ken Owers Ken Owers 4:10 pm 08 May 19

I hate to admit that I voted for Zed last time but there is no way I'll be voting for him this time around.

Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 4:18 pm 08 May 19

Bring back Gary Humphries. He represented his constituents and stood up for Canberra. Zed and other Liberal candidates need to take a leaf out of his book n stand up for Canberra. We are the National Capital not a regional city. Stop the Canberra bashing n stand up!

    Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 5:06 pm 08 May 19

    Ian McLeod true but very sad

    Gerry Satrapa Gerry Satrapa 6:47 pm 08 May 19

    gary got a cushy job from his federal Liberal Mates; he is fine.

Noel Benjamin Noel Benjamin 4:36 pm 08 May 19

Zed who? The Clayton Senator!!!!

Justin Sev Justin Sev 4:42 pm 08 May 19

Dont recall Zed doing anything for us in his term 🤔 Anyone got anything ?

    Michael Cruise Michael Cruise 5:52 pm 08 May 19

    Certainly seems to have voted against a lot of the the things I'd like to have seen go through

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 6:29 pm 08 May 19

    He voted against legislation giving the ACT the right to pass laws and not have them overturned by the Federal government, all because the most prominent law that would be changed involved euthanasia.

    Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 9:11 pm 08 May 19

    Justin Sevi yes he uh ahhh then he well hmmmm oh he is opposed to free choice for abortion and euthanasia and he is opposed to same sex couples pedestrian lights.

Keran Niquet Keran Niquet 4:58 pm 08 May 19

Anyone could beat Zed. I was a rusted on Liberal until he and the party knifed Gary Humphris. Zed will never get my vote!

    Shane Jasprizza Shane Jasprizza 6:38 pm 08 May 19

    He has perfected the art of being a Noddy (the role of standing behind others giving speeches, interviews or media conferences and nodding in agreement).

    Kate McKenzie Kate McKenzie 10:07 pm 08 May 19

    Keran Niquet No ethics shown by that move

Kingsley Grall Kingsley Grall 5:11 pm 08 May 19

Zed grade politician

Russell Nankervis Russell Nankervis 5:50 pm 08 May 19

Nah, I think the Greens are a good option

Paul Rutherford Paul Rutherford 5:50 pm 08 May 19

Zed is gone 😂

Kerri Hallas Kerri Hallas 6:16 pm 08 May 19

Zed is kidding himself

Kerri Hallas Kerri Hallas 6:19 pm 08 May 19

Zed is as cardboardy as his picket signs.

    Robert Knight - Canberra Progressives Robert Knight - Canberra Progressives 8:14 pm 08 May 19

    They’re actually plastic, just like Zed’s facade that he’s in anyway concerned about Canberrans.

Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 6:40 pm 08 May 19

I think that Liberals that care about their party, should actually vote against Seselja, so that the party stops taking the ACT and their party faithful for granted. Seselja is so out of touch with what Canberrans want from a senator. it's not good for their party in the long term.

Mac John Mac John 7:21 pm 08 May 19

To Pesec and the Canberra liberals: why are you lying about get up funding the independents: why did you lie about Pesec’s funding sources. This is one big reason why you liberals can not be trusted. Why are you Liberals lying in your election material. The budget is not yet in surplus. Why are you lying about the budget surplus. Why is it fair for the person who has ten rental properties getting a taxpayer subsidy of say $10,000 per house per year when other people are struggling to pay their rent, the first home buyer is struggling to buy their first house and people with cancer have to pay significant out of pocket cost for treatment and MRIs and many more dollars need to be allocated to health education etc. I tell you, put the liberals last.

    Robert Knight - Canberra Progressives Robert Knight - Canberra Progressives 8:21 pm 08 May 19

    All great questions Mac.

    I’d suggest the Liberal Party are desperate to cling onto power more than anything else, meaning their adherence to principles such as truth in advertising is thrown out the window.

Charles Godworth Charles Godworth 8:01 pm 08 May 19

The libs need Zed gone if they are to be taken seriously ever again. There are a number of talents locally within the party that are lying in wait for him to go at this election and will make their move. They are playing the waiting game for their time to shine.

Jack Hearps Jack Hearps 8:17 pm 08 May 19

This new bloke is a Liberal at heart but progressive? Might be an idea for Liberal supporters not impressed with Zed to vote for Pesec and Greens preference him? As he is FOR alternate energy to replace coal etc...

    Malcolmd Davies Malcolmd Davies 3:21 pm 13 May 19

    Ian McLeod I've seen many of your other posts in this thread and I can see you are no supporter of Zed, but this one puzzles me. The mere fact that Pesec believes in climate change puts him far left of Seselja in my mind, plus he has described himslef as being from the sensible centre. Also, I can see nothing on Pesec's website about any religious affiliation he may or may not have. So can you expand on this and provide some facts to support your assertion?

    PS I see Mr Pesec has actually commented in here, so I would caution him against bringing any "out of left field personal bias" into his role as a Senator if he is elected. Former independent ACT MLA Paul Osborne found that his electoral support 'crashed and burned' after he tried to introduce private legislation regarding abortion in the ACT without having put this forward as part of his policy platform at the election. Independents can quickly become one-term wonders if they don't follow the path they have put to the electorate.

Jenny McInnes Jenny McInnes 8:44 pm 08 May 19

Remind everyone of last time Zed ran his political van was found with horrific rape language about two Greens candidates.


    Jenny McInnes Jenny McInnes 11:22 pm 08 May 19

    Ian McLeod it is disgusting!

    Jenny McInnes Jenny McInnes 11:26 pm 08 May 19

    It was a mini van that had been driven around all day with people supporting his campaign from what I had heard. Zed never came out as it was his mini van and said sorry.

Sam Hussey-Smith Sam Hussey-Smith 8:59 pm 08 May 19

Never forget. For context - Zed left the chamber when the same-sex marriage vote was held in Parliament.

Ray Raffaele Ray Raffaele 5:24 am 09 May 19

Zed the Dinosaur time to go

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 3:03 am 12 May 19

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the Libs Candidate roadside signs that in places are positioned as ZED COCKS.....UP ?

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