It’s 12 days till the federal election and things are heating up on the campaign trail.
By Janene Carey
Today, Independent candidate for Cowper Rob Oakeshott (below) was fending off media accusations that he’s a left-wing stooge willing to ally himself with grassroots activist organisation GetUp and that he’s a right-wing stooge willing to ally himself with Scott Morrison if the PM should need help to form a minority government.
beat-up about GetUp arose because they have given Oakeshott’s climate
policy stance a tick and suggested people put him in first or second
place on their ballot papers.
They’ve also listed Cowper as one of 29 marginal seats where GetUp volunteers will be active on polling day handing out their how-to-vote guides.
While stressing that GetUp has no connection to his campaign, financial or otherwise, Rob Oakeshott said the organisation was not some sinister force, it was just one of many issues-focused groups trying to influence the public.
“If they want to throw support at the ballot box to try and promote messages that are important to them, that align with messages that are important to me and the region, well they can knock themselves out. They’re welcome to do it,” he said.
Regarding reports that he would be willing to “pick up the phone” to Scott Morrison if the prime minister called after the federal election looking for his support to form government, Oakeshott said that was simply part of the process, because if neither side has the numbers, the first move on the chess board belongs to Scott Morrison.
“In a representative democracy, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I would receive a phone call from the sitting prime minister to negotiate terms and conditions,” he said.
Asked if he would also speak to Bill Shorten, Oakeshott said that depended on how negotiations with Morrison played out.
“If to all our surprise he [Morrison] rang me and said, I adopt all your policies, who knows, there may not be a need for another phone call. That’s highly unlikely though. In those circumstances, there’d be more conversations [with the alternate prime minister].”
First published at The Bellingen Courier-Sun – Tuesday 7 May 2019