While Cathy McGowan has been elected for a second term as the independent member for the seat of Indi, there are some for whom the whiff of scandal around the 2013 election and the enrolment of “Indi expats” will never die down. Accusations that 27 supporters of McGowan, including her niece Maggie McGowan and backer Sophie Fuschen, had committed electoral fraud by enrolling in the electorate when they lived elsewhere have been dropped by the AFP, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else has let it go. Liberal Senator Dean Smith asked the AFP at Senate estimates in May about the use of Facebook by authorities, but the agency said social media wasn’t that important:
“Several of the persons of interest referred by the AEC did have social media profiles, some which included details of their geographic location and employment status. However, the AFP did not rely on social media postings to confirm the residential addresses or employment status of the 27 suspects.”
Reports at the time suggested that Facebook posts had been deleted after the case came to the attention of the media, but the AFP said that made no difference to the investigation.
“AFP investigators were aware of media articles reporting that some social media records may have been deleted after this matter became public. Social media aided, but was only one aspect of, the investigation. The deletion of the material did not adversely impact the investigation.”