Nationals go straight below the belt

Filed in Just In by April 15, 2021

THE National Party has taken the fight for the Upper Hunter by-election into what other candidates have described as the “gutter”, by registering the domain names of other candidates and posting disparaging materials on the sites.

The behaviour has drawn unified condemnation from all other candidates running in the election.

After viewing www.jeffdrayton.com.au and www.suegilroy.com.au, which are endorsed by the National Party, here were their comments:

Jeff Drayton, Labor candidate: “I was astonished and really amazed that on the back of the Michael Johnsen rubbish, that by day three of a campaign this is what they do. They might be putting on a show around the electorate, but this shows how deeply ingrained their culture is, it’s not just Michael Johnsen’s behaviour. But it will not happen in our campaign. I know many of the other candidates and we don’t behave that way.”

Robert Borsak, leader of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party: “It’s gutless and desperate! It just shows how truly hopeless these people are to drag people through the gutter and pretend a preference deal is endorsing policies. They are trying to fool people and play games. They like to pretend they are at the top end of town, but when it comes to sleaze they are in the gutter all the time. We’ve seen it in previous by-elections, we’re seeing it now here and they’ll do it in the future. They have nothing good to say, so they have to go with a negative campaign. They can’t be trusted and the people of the Upper Hunter should put them last, playing games won’t save them.”

Dale McNamara, One Nation candidate: “It’s childish, unnecessary behaviour and does nothing good for the people of the Upper Hunter. We won’t be getting involved in that kind of politics and we’ll be focusing on the real issues.”

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Yasmin Catley, Deputy Labor Leader: “Of all the low-down dirty tricks in politics, this has to be one of the lowest. This by-election is only occurring because of the lack of common decency by a National Party Member and now we see this sort of dirty trick being played against their opponents. This is more cheap and nasty gutter politics from John Barilaro and the Nationals.”

Tracy Norman, independent candidate: “I read about Sue’s (Gilroy) last night and brought as many domains as I could, but it concerns me I couldn’t get one mine. It’s just infantile, dirty tricks and absolutely disgraceful. If they are that worried that they do this kind of dirty politics, then they are worried. I’m glad everyone’s reaction is like mine and the people of the Upper Hunter should look at this and not be fooled by this kind of behaviour. These candidates are working hard and trying to get the issues out – why would you want these guys in seriously?! They aren’t across the real issues, which is why they are having to do this.”

Sue Abbott, Green’s candidate: “It’s really disappointing and shows how utterly irresponsible they are and no one can trust them. It is letting down the electorate and the voters and treating us like we are all really dumb. They are no longer representative of the people of the Upper Hunter electorate and they haven’t been for a while. People have different views, but surely the end point for all of us should be what is good for the Upper Hunter. It’s very disappointing and disgraceful.”

Kate Fraser, independent candidate: “My reaction to that kind of campaigning is they are clearly scared shitless and will employ any tactic to achieve their aims. It might not be illegal, but it’s wrong. The people of the Upper Hunter are no fools, they will see through this for what it is – a nasty, shoddy little trick. If they are not going to be ethical and above board – how could you possibly have any confidence in them?”

Steve Reynolds, independent candidate: “We shouldn’t be going down this line. Any tactics like that used by any party or any independent is getting into a childish game. I thought we had a great bunch of characters in people running and all fighting for our region. We don’t want to be entrenched in this kind of thing. When you put your name down to run in an election, it’s like stepping into a boxing ring and you’ve got to expect a few blows, but not cheap shots. I’d appeal to the other candidates not to lower their standards to this.”

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