Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Commissioner strikes back!

Here's the text of the Commissioner's reply:

Dear Mr Lewin-Hill

Complaint about election material

I refer to your letter of today in which you complain that election materials recently sent by Ms Mary Delahunty MP [And by Ms Richardson - Ed.] to electors in the Northcote District contain misleading or deceptive information.

In your letter you assert that references by Ms Delahunty to Ms Fiona Richardson, the Australian Labor Party candidate for Northcote, as a 'long standing local resident' and [by Richardson herself - Ed.] as a 'local working mother' are deceptive. You assert this because Ms Richardson does not live within the District of Northcote.

I note, however, that the election material does not say that Ms Richardson lives in the District of Northcote, but that she is a long standing local resident. In this context, I consider the term 'local' to mean 'of the neighbourhood', and that the statement is not clearly false and misleading [Not clearly, but maybe just a bit? - Ed.] in terms of section 84(1) of the Electoral Act 2002.

If it remains your view that the statement about Ms Richardson's local residency is misleading, you may wish to make your own comments on the matter as part of the campaign process. [Indeed - Ed.]

Yours sincerely,

Steve Tully
Electoral Commissioner

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