GetUp put on notice over political links

GetUp put on notice over political links, by Brad Norington.

Government MPs are angered most about the conduct of GetUp — which they claim is a “front” for Labor or the Greens while pretending to be independent. …

The proposal to place limits on campaign activity outside polling booths follows deep anger inside the Coalition about GetUp’s role in targeting a “hit list” of MPs it did not like with a multimillion-dollar campaign to “remove the hard Right’s grip on power”.

Leading calls for changes, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton claims GetUp’s conduct during the campaign and on election day was “deceptive”, “undemocratic” and “unrepresentative”.

The Australian understands senior government figures are looking at how to tackle GetUp’s perceived campaign power, which is currently outside controls, while the group professes to be issues-based and not aligned to any party or particular candidate.

GetUp claims it “tripled” efforts in the federal election compared with past efforts. The group is estimated to have spent more than $10 million in deploying 9,000 volunteers who made phone calls, did home doorknocks and distributed how-to-vote cards as part of efforts to target Coalition MPs.

After Saturday’s election, GetUp national director Paul Oosting took credit for defeating Tony Abbott in Warringah. Although no other Coalition MP on GetUp’s “hit list” lost their seat, Mr Oosting claimed his group was influential in shaving back swings to Mr Dutton and other Coalition MPs. …

A key difference between GetUp and unions … is that unions are openly aligned with Labor as “associated entities” under the Electoral Act.