One Nation candidate Malcolm Heffernan referred to AFP after nominating for two seats
Posted On April 29, 2022
A federal election hopeful has been referred to the Australian Federal Police and is to be ruled ineligible for election after allegedly registering as a candidate in two seats for two different parties.
The Australian Electoral Commission is alleging Malcolm Heffernan had different personal details to register as a candidate in both electorates on opposite sides of the country.
The duplication was detected when all candidates in the federal election were publicly declared.
It’s alleged Mr Heffernan was nominated for One Nation for the seat of Banks in NSW and the Australian Federation Party for Brand in Perth, Western Australia, a violation banned under the Electoral Act.
“Each nomination form had differences in the listed information – including a different date of birth, and a different expression of the candidate’s name,” the AEC said in a statement.
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“Each nomination form had a signed declaration that the candidate did not intend to be a candidate in any other election held the same day.”
The breach has been referred to the Australian Federal Police, who will determine if a crime has been committed.
Mr Heffernan and both the One Nation and Australian Federation Party have been notified of the investigation.
Mr Heffernan can no longer be elected but his name will appear on ballot papers in both seats.
“Ballot papers have been printed and some postal voters have already received their postal voting packs,” the AEC said.
In a statement, One Nation said they would cooperate fully with the AFP and conduct their own internal investigation into the matter.
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The spokesperson said the party became aware of the double nomination after being notified by the AEC, adding the party’s candidate vetting process would be reviewed to prevent future mishaps.
“One Nation expresses its disappointment the AEC did not detect Mr Heffernan’s dual nomination before the close of nominations,” the statement read.
“One Nation accepted Mr Heffernan’s application to be a candidate in good faith, including his statement that he was not a member of another political party.
“We will nevertheless undertake a review of our candidate vetting process to ensure this does not happen in the future.”