by staff writers
Election candidates, booth workers and scrutineers again have reported widespread corruption similar to that reported at the 2012 and 2015 state elections run by the dodgy Electoral Commission of Queensland.
Booth workers across the state claim the Labor Party and unions have infiltrated to ECQ to such an extent there is no possibility of this government department carrying out a state election to deliver a clean result.
In the Far North an onslaught against conservative political parties began in earnest at least eight weeks ago.
Many hundreds of election signs erected by party supporters were reported damaged or stolen from roadsides and private property. At an estimated cost of $8 for a corflute sign and $3 for a wooden stake, the financial loss to candidates was crippling.
Candidates have blamed the ALP and the crocodile lovers for the sign thefts. Cairns News hopes the croc shaggers and the militant Labor trench-coaters are soon devoured by the explosion of dangerous crocs infesting human habitats.
One Nation and Katters Australian Party were hard hit by sign thieves who struck in the middle of the night.
Booth workers across Cape York Peninsula reported ALP posters being left in polling booths at indigenous communities, ALP-aligned scrutineers accompanying indigenous voters into booths and actually filling out their ballot papers, with a lead pencil, naturally.
A Kowanyama booth worker reported Labor supporters telling indigenous voters on their way to the booth to vote only for the Labor candidate or they would lose their pensions and dole (sit down money).
Meanwhile we are advised the counting continues at the Cook electorate office where Labor candidate Cynthia Lui has a slim lead over One Nation candidate Jen Sackley and KAP candidate Gordon Rasmussen. This is occurring in spite of the questionable Bamaga ballot box being included in the count.
No adequate political representation for the Far North after ECQ and ALP gerrymandered northern seats to Brisbane. Consequently the new State of North Queensland is in the making
The Electoral Commission of Queensland, a Brisbane-based bureaucracy headed by H W H Botting has long defended itself against corruption allegations and again has come into the spotlight after a State electoral redistribution moved several key northern seats to Brisbane.
The Labor orientated ECQ cries independent but long suffering voters outside of the south east corner of the State have been crapped all over by its ALP and LNP driven agenda for decades.
Released today, the ECQ has engineered a gerrymander of monumental proportions removing Katters Australia Party Shane Knuth’s seat of Dalrymple stretching from Atherton in the north to the southern mining town of Moranbah in the Coalfields.
The last time the effective and independent member Rosa Lee Long threatened the status quo of the LNP and ALP, her seat of Tablelands was abolished by the ECQ in 2009.
Far North people are sick and tired of being the political football for the LNP and the ALP. Cairns News has no doubt many thousands of voters who have depended on Shane Knuth for his astute representation will protest to the ECQ during the public comment period.
Several contributors to Cairns News have already suggested that the entire population of the Far North refuse to vote at the next State election.
The people should take a line on the map north of the Tropic of Capricorn and tell the south east corner Labor and Liberal politicians and their public servants to go to hell – the north is creating its own state, we don’t need you, one contributor said.
The Mt Isa electorate will now take in Charters Towers in a ploy to spread its highly effective member Robbie Katter wafer thin across an electorate nearly twice the size of Victoria.
Robbie Katter says the re-mapping of the boundaries is another blow for rural representation.
He has constantly pushed against further expansion to rural seats and had hoped for more adequate representation in regional areas.
“The major parties have got what they wanted, in particular the ALP,” he said.
“Adequate representation means that each person has the opportunity to meet and shake hands with their local member.”
“It’s a shame the new seats being created are closer to metropolitan areas, not in western areas where it’s already difficult for the local member to get around their massive electorates.”
Mr Katter said the proposed changes meant that the Mount Isa electorate will lose Diamantina and Winton Shire boundaries, of less than 2,000 people combined, while taking in the Charters Towers Regional Council, with a population in excess of about 12,000 people.
“I’m very concerned that we’ll continue to see people with no idea what it’s like to live out west, making decisions about how we use our land and water.”
“That’s a nett gain of approximately 10,000 people for the local member to represent.”
“The people of these smaller rural towns, that already struggling, need more representation, not less.”
“We need to make sure that everything is being done to ensure adequate representation in rural and regional areas.”
Mr Katter was disappointed the rural areas would miss out once again.
“The major parties have got what they wanted which is less representation in regional areas,” he said.
“It’s another example of rural areas being overlooked.”
“With less representation in the bush we’ll continue to see policies focussed on cities.”
“What is the most urgent priority for Queensland’s newly-elected ALP government?”
The Queensland State election occurred on 31 January 2015, and the ALP surprised many people in going from having a mere 7 seats in the Parliament to having just enough seats to be able to form government in a House of 89 seats.
The Queensland Coalition government about 9 months ago had amended the Queensland Electoral Act to require an ordinary voter and a pre-poll voter to produce identification before being allowed to vote. This is a very sensible measure, and assists to prevent Vote Frauds such as multiple voting and voting in somebody else’s name.
By the time all the vote counting had finished, the Parliament did not sit in February, and in March sat for only four days, 24 to 27 March. It is not scheduled to sit in April, and will resume on 5 May.
So in those first four days in the Parliament, just what would you think would be the most urgent business of an incoming Labor government?
Perhaps they would be interested in jobs, hospitals, roads, schools, reforming the public service, police, ports or the environment.
No!! They set about abolishing the voter ID requirements in the Electoral Act. And gave citizens only a very short deadline till Friday 10 April to offer comments.
We in Australians for Honest Elections found out about this hasty move to abolish voter ID only on Friday morning 10 April, so hurriedly put together this Submission to the Parliamentary Committee just before the 4pm deadline:-
Dear Parliamentary Committee
I note the haste with which the recently-elected State government wants to repeal the current ID requirements in the Queensland Electoral Act 1992, sections 107 and 2.
The ALP Queensland State government thinks it important to do this as one of the very first things to be achieved in their term of government (however short or long that may be).
I am concerned at the lack of democratic consultation in that the government has set such a short timeframe within which comments may be received – the deadline is TODAY 10 april at 4pm !
Making Vote Frauds easier seems to be a higher priority to this ALP State Govt than issues like jobs, hospitals, roads, police, transport, schools, agriculture, railways, ports and the environment.
“ELECTORAL ACT 1992 – SECTION 107
107 Procedure for voting
(1) An elector (other than one who makes a pre-poll ordinary vote under section 112 or who makes, or must make, a declaration vote under subdivision 3) is to vote by following the procedures set out in this section.
(2) The elector is, during ordinary voting hours, to enter a polling booth for the electoral district for which the elector is enrolled.
(3) In the polling booth, the elector must—
(a) give the issuing officer the elector’s proof of identity document; and
(b) request a ballot paper from the issuing officer …..
ELECTORAL ACT 1992 – SECTION 2
proof of identity document means a document relating to proof of a person’s identity prescribed under a regulation.”
The Proof of Identity requirements in Electoral Regulation 2103, section 3A are very reasonable and are not onerous.
“ELECTORAL REGULATION 2013 – SECTION 3A
3A Proof of identity document—Act, s 2
For section 2 of the Act … each of the following is a proof of identity document—
(a) a current driver licence;
(b) a current Australian passport;
(c) a voter information letter issued by the commission;
(d) a recent document evidencing electoral enrolment;
(e) an identification card issued by the Commonwealth or State evidencing the person’s entitlement to a financial benefit;
Examples— a Commonwealth seniors health card, health care card, Medicare card,
pensioner concession card or repatriation health card
(f) an adult proof of age card issued by the State;
(g) a recent account or notice issued by a local government or a public utility provider;
Examples— a council rates notice, electricity account statement, gas account
statement or water bill
(h) a recent account statement, current account card or current credit card issued by a financial institution;
(i) a recent account statement issued by a … service provider as defined under …. (Cwlth);
Examples— a telephone bill or internet bill
(j) a recent notice of assessment issued under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cwlth)”
Even homeless persons and Aboriginals in remote areas would surely be in possession of a Medicare card, health care card, or a similar concession card.
(When I was western regional Road Safety Manager of the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority 1990-97 I travelled a great deal in central western and far western NSW liaising with Aboriginal communities from the Vic border to the Q’ld border to the SA border, and I created the very first positions in Australia of ‘Aboriginal Road Safety Officer’, and I employed two – I and these two officers assisted many Aboriginals to get their drivers licence for the very first time)
Therefore I cannot see that anybody could realistically claim to be potentially or actually disadvantaged by the current ID requirements, which did work well during the recent Queensland State election.
However lack of ID does provide advantage to those who want to “vote early and vote often” and cheat in other ways such as voter impersonation, which does occur
— for example, when Alasdair Webster MP lost Macquarie in 1993 by only 164 votes, he learned that more than 164 Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religious groups with conscientious objection, did NOT receive their customary letter after the election asking why they did not vote — IN OTHER WORDS due to lack of voter ID SOME HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE HAD VOTED FALSELY, COMMITTING VOTER IMPERSONATION.
A one-page summary of Alasdair Webster’s case is at:
This being a random sample leads us to the conclusion that the number of false enrolments was about 1,600 for the whole electorate at that time.
I note that the AEC admitted that there were 18,770 multiple votes in the September 2013 federal election, but provided no data on voter impersonations, which were made possible by lack of voter ID in the Commonwealth Electoral Act.
I urge that the current voter ID requirements be retained, and also be expanded to include more stringent identity requirements for Postal votes.
Strange vote patterns defeated Pauline Hanson?
· Higher than normal postal votes in Hanson’s electorate, Lockyer
· Loopholes in the law make postal voting frauds easy
· A week after the election, some polling booths not yet included
· Election experts claim postal voting fraud rife in marginal electorates
Pauline Hanson beaten by 180 postal votes that kept arriving in mail until closing day of February 9. No post marks are required by the Queensland Electoral Commission on envelopes containing ballot papers.
Strange patterns among postal votes in the Queensland State election are leading some election analysts to suspect that Pauline Hanson (and others) are being unfairly culled out.
“We issued a media release before the Queensland election warning that Vote Frauds would be likely to occur in the area of postal votes, due to large loopholes in the recently-amended Queensland Electoral Act,” said Mr Lex Stewart, President of Australians for Honest Elections.
“We warned that the new ID requirements of sections 107 and 3A of the Act are ineffective in preventing vote frauds because they do not apply to POSTAL voters, where no such identity proofs are needed! Whereas the Commonwealth Act requires people to have a reason to apply for a postal vote, we warned that section 119(1) of the Queensland Act allows anybody, including false enrolments, to apply for a postal vote without any reason at all!”
The Commonwealth Electoral Act requires a postal vote envelope to be postmarked BEFORE the election, but Postal votes in Queensland can even be posted AFTER the election!!
“Therefore, where a close contest became evident in a seat on election night, did we have party hacks filling in Postal Votes on the Sunday and Monday after the election?” asks Mr Stewart.
Voting figures from the Queensland Electoral Commission as at 4:13pm 6 Februaryhttp://results.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/state/State2015/results/district45.html
show that Lockyer has a surprisingly high number of postal votes, 3,225 which is 10.7% of the total votes, and also that the rate of informal voting among postals is rather low.
“Lockyer’s percent of postals 10.7% is higher than the statewide average of 8.7%, yet it is a fairly small electorate, only 60km from north to south, and one would expect more postals in larger rural electorates, like Cook in far north Queensland, which runs almost 1,300km north to south, and has only 801 postal votes, or 3.5%. – or has counting not finished yet?” said Mr Stewart.
“The Queensland Electoral Commission is negligent in that in Lockyer (and other electorates) not all polling booths have been included in website figures a week after the election!!
Pauline Hanson with 49.65% of the votes is running neck-and-neck with the LNP at 50.35% but only 59 out of 61 polling booths have (as at 6 Feb 4:13pm) been included.
Where have the ballot papers from these two booths been for a week? Who has had access to them? And could they have been tampered with to the detriment of Pauline Hanson?”
“Postal voting has long been recognised as fertile ground for vote cheating, and for this reason many countries around the world do not allow any postal voting.
UK Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC (who sent people from both sides of politics to jail in the UK for vote frauds) said during his visit to Australia 4 years ago that the ‘system of postal voting is a recipe for fraud … the system is highly vulnerable at a number of critical points’.”
First week of LNP rule criticized by eminent corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald QC, as ‘jobs for the boys’
Former Liberal member claims the Mareeba-based LNP spent more than $120,000 much of it from private sources, to keep KAP out
The Far North Queensland seat of Cook produced a big surprise at the State election on Saturday when LNP candidate David Kempton (pictured left) got over the line.
Pundits had predicted the Katters party candidate Lachlan Bensted to take the seat from incumbent ALP Member Jason O’Brien.
Bob Katter’s son Robert won the seat of Mt Isa from the ALP, and incumbent Shane Knuth, a former LNP Member held the adjoining seat of Dalrymple with 66 per cent of the primary vote.
The local LNP spun into overdrive after confidential polling found that Lachlan Bensted (pictured right), Katter’s hand-picked 26 year old Mareeba prodigy, should win the seat.
Candidate David Kempton, according to the source, dispatched emissaries to far-flung Aboriginal communities in private air charters to entice them to support the LNP and if they did, alcohol restrictions in their communities would be lifted.
Consequently a sufficient number of communities did support the LNP, now leaving the party with the problem of delivering on their subterfuge.
The LNP also conducted an expensive recorded telephone message campaign targeting people across the electorate trying to bolster their hopes.
Bensted polled evenly or beat Kempton in the Mareeba area and lower part of Cape York Peninsula but lost the Cooktown area by just 60 votes.
Coastal communities in the Port Douglas area withdrew considerable support after the airing of the KAP’s controversial television advertisement of Campbell Newman saying he supported gay marriage. The intent of the ad was to show the potential leader said one thing to one group and something else to another. This message was lost in the ensuing public debacle.
It was the Queensland Electoral Commission’s ‘two party preferred’ allocation of preferences which saw Katter’s candidates across the state involuntarily surrender their preferences to either LNP or the ALP.
The so-called ‘two party preferred’ system has been branded as a scam by numerous candidates and scrutineers around the state over many elections.
NSW electoral systems analyst Lex Stewart said the optional preferential system has been designed to keep either the ALP or LNP in power and keep alternative parties out.
The sealed envelope trotted out at each polling booth by the returning officer after counting begins, dictates to which party the preferences must be allocated. In this election, like most others, the secret instructions from the Electoral Commissioner gave the KAP preferences to either ALP or LNP.
One booth worker reported that a radio news item at 8.30 on the morning of polling day, had the LNP as having already won the seat.
Such is ‘democracy’ in Queensland and NSW, however voters there have a backstop with the Upper House. LNP leader Campbell Newman has said there will never be an Upper House while he has control of the Parliament.
A former LNP member told Cairns News Kempton got over the line due to the LNP brand.
“It wasn’t anything to do with Kempton,” said the source, who asked for anonymity in fear of reprisal.
“The whole state wanted to get rid of the Labor Party and everyone voted in a bloc, which upset the support for the Katter Party.”
Kempton was the candidate his party didn’t want. Prior to the local plebiscite last year, some LNP members were furious that Kempton, now a Cairns-based solicitor, had nominated. Favours were called in and a now prominent LNP MP contacted the members of the selection panel advising them not to support the former Cooktown lawyer.
The campaign against Kempton nearly succeeded, but for one vote, he now would not be in Parliament.
Yesterday, Bensted said he was “still around” in spite of demands in newspapers from LNP members, telling Bob Katter to get out of local politics. Privately, the source said they are complaining about the huge amount of money it cost them to keep Bensted out of Parliament.
A spokesman for the Mareeba KAP, Alan Webb, said he had received a lot of inquiries about formalising the existing interim party branch and getting involved in local issues.
“We are here to stay and I have no doubt we will get much bigger so we will keep the bastards honest.” Mr Webb said.
“The LNP is bankrolled and owned lock-stock and barrel by the coal seam gas industry and oil companies,” Bob Katter warned a week before the poll.
“We hope people will be able to hear their televisions over the noise of the drilling rigs in their back yards,” Mr Webb added.
“And it will be fruitless to complain about the expected 20 per cent jump in power prices after the LNP sells our power stations.
“Most pensioners I know can’t speak Chinese or Indian.”
More election stories soon from Queensland correspondent
Robert J Lee