Both major parties label discarded postal vote applications ‘deeply concerning’
Posted On April 23, 2022
Senior members of both the Liberal and Labor parties have both said the news that hundreds of Liberal-National Party-branded postal vote applications were thrown in the bin by a mail worker is “deeply concerning”.
When asked about the incident on the campaign trail today in the Sunshine State, Labor’s Shadow Treasurer, Jim Chalmers was quick to condemn the postie’s actions, shortly after Liberal senator Simon Birmingham had also criticised them.
“What happened there was completely unacceptable. Completely and utterly unacceptable,” Mr Chalmers said.
Mr Chalmers has called for clarity over the incident and said Australia Post needs to advise if it is “adequately resourced to deal with the extra pressure that comes at election time”.
“We consider it to be deeply concerning,” he said.
“It can’t happen again and we need to make sure the resources are there so it doesn’t happen again.”
Mr Birmingham said the “antics” made it harder for political parties, and could also hamper the voting efforts of older Australians.
“It is deeply concerning to us that there may be these type of antics happening, behind the scenes, that make it harder to get our message out to voters and to communicate with them,” he said.
Mr Chalmers said there was “no evidence” of a union campaign being involved.
In a statement released yesterday, Australia Post CEO Paul Graham apologised unreservedly, and said the organisation takes full responsibility for the error.
“Australia Post is working with Queensland Police and has commenced an internal investigation,” he said.
“The person involved has been suspended effective immediately pending the outcome of the investigation and we are working with the LNP to deliver these mail items as a priority.
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“We take full responsibility and apologise unreservedly.”
The Australian Electoral Commission, meanwhile, said the incident would have “no effect on the operation of the election whatsoever”, pointing out postal vote applications can be made via the AEC website.