Integrity is not optional. If our politicians are unable to tell the truth, how can we trust them to be acting in our best interests?
Australian politics is facing a crisis of integrity. There’s a major issue of misleading and deceptive information in our parliament and in election campaigning.
The ethical standards over the last six years of this government have been some of the lowest in our nation’s history. Climate change is getting worse, the Liberal Party has pandered to racists, we’ve treated genuine refugees with disgraceful cruelty and inequality has gotten worse.
It's difficult to understand how this once proud Liberal Party believes it can responsibly address the major social issues that face our nation when it thinks that integrity is optional.
Last year, the Liberal Party’s weak attempt at a climate and energy policy (the NEG) was dumped after a right wing insurgency that resulted in the destruction of another Prime Minister.
People I have met as I have been campaigning in the Kooyong electorate, are continually asking me how my opponent, Josh Frydenberg, can claim he had no role in the coup which removed Malcolm Turnbull, when he received a massive promotion to Treasurer and Deputy Party Leader. Any attempt by the Liberal Party to gloss over the bitter internal infighting is not credible. A party in this turmoil is not fit for government and simply awash in deceptive spin.
Josh Frydenberg has left a trail of deception in all his roles in this government. As Treasurer, he is claiming ‘we’re back in the black’. We are not. It is only a forecast. We also have record debt, over twice the amount as when the Liberals came to power, yet Frydenberg says it’s “Labor’s debt”. He claims there is the lowest ever rate of unemployment at 5%, yet record numbers of people cannot secure full time work or earn a liveable wage.
As Environment Minister, Frydenberg sentenced the Great Barrier reef to certain death, and he signed off on a $444 million dollar handout, without any tender process, to an unknown organisation with a handful of staff and a board of fossil fuel representatives. He’s backed new coal fired power stations, attacked renewable energy and cheered on the Adani coal mine. When the going got too hard with the right wing of his party, he simply walked away from the NEG and washed his hands. There was a party coup and next thing he’s the Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the party. He has more Teflon than the best frying pans.
Emissions are going up. Even Scott Morrison has finally admitted this, but Josh Frydenberg mailed out misleading statements to this electorate, that emissions are coming down. And this week they are taking credit for the record level of installed renewable energy capacity, based on the Renewable Energy Target, a policy his government tried to abolish. As Environment and Energy Minister, Mr Frydenberg took much credit for the good work of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the very agency his government tried three times to abolish. Where’s the integrity in all this? People deserve more truth and honesty in government. If our politicians are unable to tell the truth, how can we trust them to be acting in our best interests?
In challenging the Liberal Party for this seat of Kooyong, I’ve seen how low they’re willing to go to cling to power. Rather than challenge me on my policies, I’ve been the subject of a untruthful, misleading and deceptive smear campaign, about a short role I played on the board of a company some years ago. I have been open and truthful on my website about my time at the company ever since I started my campaign. I have nothing to hide. As a result of the slander, I sought legal advice, asking the Liberal Party to remove the offending material. In response, the Liberal Party’s lawyers asserted that regardless of the facts, they are entitled to mislead and deceive the electorate during an election campaign, as the Electoral Act doesn’t restrict known and intentional deception of voters. What responsible political party can claim that misleading and deceptive conduct is reasonable and fair game. Be aware voters, it’s the Liberal Party’s reserved right to be misleading and deceptive without consequence.
This election, I urge you to vote for someone who believes it’s their moral obligation to tell the truth, and act with integrity.
Get involved in the campaign here.
For more information please call Adrian Dodd 0401 726 476