Mar 17th 2021

Statement by GetUp responding to allegations made about the 2019 election campaign in Boothby

“The harassment experienced by Nicolle Flint as the Member for Boothby during the 2019 election campaign is abhorrent to GetUp as an organisation.  We condemned the behaviour at the time and went to great lengths to confirm our members were not involved.

“We conducted a thorough investigation that confirmed that our staff or members were not involved in any of the alleged behaviour levelled against us in this long running effort to smear our reputation.

“We campaigned in the seat of Boothby and other key seats with hard right Liberal MPs, but it is simply wrong to characterise the behaviour of our members as anything but respectful.

“In May 2019 GetUp issued the following statement condemning the attacks, and we stand by it today:
“We absolutely condemn this kind of behaviour, it is deplorable and not how election campaigns should be conducted. Sexist bullying like this needs to be condemned by everyone. It is never ok. It degrades women and gender non-conforming people, and makes it harder for them to stand in Parliament.”

"The Liberal Party MPs who have run this long running smear campaign have not produced any credible evidence or named a single individual to back up their baseless allegations. Rather, they have made broad, vague allegations and mentioned GetUp alongside statements about harassment and abusive behaviour, to smear our reputation by association. 

"After a thorough investigation we were satisfied none of our members were involved, and the local authorities who investigated all the incidents reported by Ms Flint never contacted us.

“In late 2020 GetUp appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) Inquiry into the 2019 Federal Election, where we went on the public record again to condemn the behaviour and reject that GetUp had any involvement.

“GetUp volunteers campaigned in Boothby to champion climate action, by singing alongside children’s entertainer Peter Combe, dressing up as the Bananas in Pyjamas, having heart to heart phone calls with their neighbours about important issues, and volunteering on election day. 

“Politicians have incredible power to impact our lives, our families and our environment, and it is an important part of a healthy democracy for people to hold politicians to account on the issues that matter to them.

“It is incorrect that a GetUp calling script directed members in Boothby to call Ms Flint ‘evil’.  There is no record of this, nor is it plausible.”

"This week was the first time GetUp had ever heard of any allegation by Fiona Martin MP of an issue at a polling booth in 2019. Had she contacted us we would have immediately looked into it.

Statement updated as at 22/3/21.