THE battle lines for the State election were clear; roads, schools, TAFE, investment, infrastructure, parks, and the future of the Great Lakes Marine Park, however over the last week all the ‘news’ has been about the methods (or bad thereof) of the current campaigning.
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Fake Facebook profiles which Kate Washington has accused of “trolling” her and her campaign have been linked to Tasman Brown, a staffer from Catherine Cusack’s office, volunteering on the Port Stephens Liberal candidates campaign.
Kate Washington said, “Ms Abbott needs to come clean on her role in this co-ordinated campaign to smear me and my credibility on Facebook.
“She has proven herself unsuited to parliament.
“I think the appropriate thing to do is to stand aside and relinquish her candidacy.
“Failing that, the Premier should move to have her dis-endorsed,” Ms Washington said.
“When I referred this matter to Facebook and the Parliament last week, the Liberals categorically denied it and viciously attacked me instead.
Catherine Cusack MLC for Port Stephens said, “Tasman is passionate about politics but I struggle with how naive he has been to think this was a good or helpful thing to do.
“I am very sorry this has happened,” said Ms Cusack.
Ms Abbott stated, “Elections should be a contest of ideas rather than a race for likes on social media, and I think that Tasman forgot about this.
“I am deeply saddened and disappointed that this has taken place, and that we were all misled.
“I have personally called Kate to apologise on behalf of my campaign, and assured her that he will no longer have any involvement with my campaign,” Ms Abbott said.
Kate Washington has been defended by the opposition leader for sharing electoral roll information, however, at this time no confirmation whether an investigation into Kate Washington’s actions is being conducted or not.
By Marian SAMPSON