Justine Elliot’s attack ads may be illegal
Today Justine Elliot has been reported to the New South Wales Electoral Commission for investigation as to whether she has breached state electoral funding laws.
Ms Elliot has long used taxpayer money to pay for attack advertisements in local newspapers and this has continued throughout the state election campaign.
State Director of the NSW Nationals Ben Franklin said that Ms Elliot’s extraordinary involvement in this election means that she may have breached the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act.
“Justine Elliot has been authorising expensive full page advertisements in both the Tweed Valley Weekly and Tweed Daily News,” Mr Franklin said.
“These nasty and misleading advertisements will have cost thousands of dollars, which means that if she paid for them she has potentially breached the Third-Party Campaigner rules in the Act.”
“This is because Third-Party Campaigns include a person who spends more than $2000 on electoral expenditure.”
“As Ms Elliot’s ads have clearly cost more than this, we have reported her for investigation as Third Party Campaigners need to be registered and she is not.”
“Ms Elliot has paid for at least 140 full page newspaper advertisements since 2011, the majority of which appear to be negative ads attacking The Nationals,” Mr Franklin said.
Only the advertisements published after 1 October 2014 would be illegal under electoral funding laws but Mr Franklin said many fell into that category.
“Taxpayers have a right to know where the money for these ads is coming from, and if our money was being used to illegally fund campaign material,” Mr Franklin said.