ELECTION - family first photo

Queensland Minister for Disability Services Annastacia Palaszczuk’s staffer Nino Lalic, disguised as a Family First volunteer on Saturday.

Labor’s Family First fraud in South Australia last Saturday has broken state borders. An ALP apparatchik from Queensland is now proven to have had a hand in the scandal and there may have been other fly-ins from other states.

No longer confined to one renegade state branch of the Labor Party, it involved sanction by high authority and with a federal election this year, the scandal could taint Kevin Rudd as happened to John Howard for Liberal’s use of fake election material at the last federal election in the NSW seat of Lindsay.

One volunteer in the SA scandal has been exposed as Nino Lalic, a Queensland delegate to Young Labor’s national conference connected with the Queensland Public Sector Union. When he’s not volunteering to get involved in an electoral scam in Adelaide, he works in the office of the Queensland Minister for Disability Services, Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The gist of the story is this: Labor, down in the polls, staring at possible defeat. Every consecutive poll shows growing support for Liberal leader Isobel Redmond. The ALP hatches a plan to use ALP members and volunteers covertly. They’re sent out in the disguise of volunteers of the Family First Party. Same colour clothes, same use of capital letters on the T-shirts … Put your Family First.

Then, on election day, these two-visaged volunteers distributed how-to-vote cards, which looked like Family First’s and that said that to follow Family First, voters should put Labor above Liberal.

That’s completely the opposite of how Family First wanted its preferences to go.

“It’s a corruption of process,” said defeated Liberal candidate Joe Scalzi. Had Liberals won in marginal seats where such chicanery went on, there could now be a Liberal Premier. That likelihood — that Liberal would win in a fair and just election — is why Labor did what it did.

When asked about the fake card during ABC-TV’s televised election coverage, Deputy Premier Kevin Foley responded, “…clearly anything from the Labor Party would have been done within the Electoral Act” and that the tactic was “what you do in politics.”

Family First is outraged but Labor doesn’t give a fig leaf. The votes are in and Labor won government.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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