Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Offences and Preventing Multiple Voting) Bill 2021

30 Aug 2021 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby—Government Whip) (13:50): Today I wish to commend the parliament for the quick passage of the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Offences and Preventing Multiple Voting) Bill 2021. I feel immensely proud to have in my small way made a contribution to the provisions of this legislation that relate to the safety of candidates, members of parliament, staff and volunteers. The act clarifies what constitutes interference with political liberty and notes that violence, obscene or discriminatory abuse, property damage and harassment or stalking with relevance to an election are examples of what can be considered interference with political liberty, with penalties of imprisonment for three years or of 100 penalty units or both. Unfortunately, as I have previously recorded in this place, I was subjected to all of this during the 2019 election campaign and since from Extinction Rebellion and groups like that.

No-one in politics, especially women, should have to go through this, and now we finally have a way to protect the safety of our participants in our democracy. I would like again to record my sincere thanks to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for allowing me to participate in the inquiry, to the member for Barker and Senator Eric Abetz for their forensic analysis of the GetUp, Labor and union tactics and also to the Assistant Minister for Electoral Matters and his office and his department for drafting the legislation. The future of our democracy and continuing free and easy access to members of parliament depends on all of us being safe.