United Australia Party leader Craig Kelly defends spam

It is not uncommon for political parties to send general messages or phone calls with pre-recorded messages, especially at election time. In addition to the exemption from the spam law, political parties are not required to comply with the do not call registry and the obligations of the Privacy Act 1988 as to how they collect, use, disclose or store personal information. The federal government is reviewing the Privacy Act, including whether the exemption for political parties should be maintained.

Mr Palmer has repeatedly used unsolicited text messages as a campaign tool, most recently ahead of the 2020 Queensland election, when his company Mineralogy sent spam to people across the country with messages accusing Labor to have a “death tax” and a link to an instruction manual. voting card. The Federal Labor Party was also criticized for this practice in the 2016 election with the so-called ‘Mediscare’ text campaign, which claimed to be from the government agency and claimed that then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had l ‘intention to privatize it.

Mr Kelly said the UAP courier campaign had succeeded in recruiting members “by the thousands” and asserted that “the way we run we will have more members than” the Labor or Liberal parties. When asked how many members of the UAP there are, Mr. Kelly replied, “I don’t have the numbers today”.

On the issue of spam phone calls and political messages, the Australian Election Commission says it does not disclose the telephone numbers of voters and does not know “where or how a registered political party obtains the telephone numbers. voters ”.

Meanwhile, the federal parliament last week passed a series of changes to minor party registration requirements and electoral processes ahead of the next election. The changes, backed by the Labor Party, include a requirement for minor parties to have at least 1,500 members to register and new parties will be prevented from registering names too similar to those already in use. The pre-polling delay, which allows people to vote before polling day, has also been reduced to 12 days.

Greens were among small parties to denounce changes to registration rules, with Senator Larissa Waters calling them “a blatant and utterly shameless attempt [by the major parties] to strengthen their power ”.

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James F. So