THESE ARTICLES appear to refute this … how credible … how convenient to lay the blame at an officer … ?
Carol Que was near Weeden Heights primary school in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs when she saw it.
A sign, mimicking the purple theme of the Australian Electoral Commission, hung near her family’s local polling booth, delivering a Chinese-language message to voters.
View: ‘Designed to Deceive’: How do we ensure Truth in Political Advertising in Election Campaigns?
View: Frydenberg and Gladys Liu hit with High Court Challenge over Election results
-the posters featured the AEC’s distinctive purple and white colouring and were written in Chinese
-they instructed voters that the “correct way to vote” was to place a “1” next to the name of the Liberal candidate on the ballot paper
Frydenberg, Liu concede wrong translations on Chinese-language signs
By Clay Lucas
October 2, 2019
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and backbencher Gladys Liu have conceded that controversial Chinese-language signs they put up at voting booths on the day of the federal election had the wrong translations.
In filings made in the Federal Court on Wednesday, Mr Frydenberg and Ms Liu said that the signs “intended the following translation: to make your vote count, put a one next to the Liberal Party candidate”, but the signs, which were in Australian Electoral Commission colours, told voters that “the correct voting method” was to put a one next to the Liberal candidate.
Mr Frydenberg’s election is being challenged by Oliver Yates, who ran against him in the seat of Kooyong. Mr Frydenberg won the seat easily, winning 11,289 more votes than Mr Yates.
Ms Liu’s tight election win is being challenged by a voter in the seat of Chisholm, Vanessa Garbett, who has previously been involved in the union movement.
Had 546 voters cast their ballot for Labor instead of Ms Liu she would not have won the seat, AEC results show.
About 20 per cent of the people living in the electorate where the Chinese-language signs appeared spoke either Mandarin or Cantonese at home, according to the 2016 Census.
CAAN: What is the percentage now? In 2019?
The signs appeared in front of at least 29 booths on polling day in Chisholm. At some booths, the Liberal Party signs appeared next to official AEC signs.
The AEC is part of the Federal Court case but has previously ruled out taking action against either politician because the signs were authorised and there were no rules regarding the use of colours in campaign signs.
In both politicians’ court filings, they blame the registered officer of the Liberal Party in Victoria, Simon Frost, for authorising the translations on the signs.
But both Mr Frydenberg and Ms Liu said the signs were unlikely to have misled electors and noted Mr Frost had “not set out to mislead any voter”.
“Rather, Mr Frost sought to explain to voters who could read Chinese and who were considering voting for the Liberal party how to do so in a valid way, and also to encourage voters who had not yet made up their mind to vote for the Liberal party,” the court filings said.
Ms Garbett accused Ms Liu of having told journalists on election day that they were “good signs” and that they had “been approved and authorised by the state director of the Liberal Party”.
Ms Liu said she did not admit saying this to a journalist but conceded she did not take any action to remove the signs after receiving complaints about them.
Ms Liu last month faced separate allegations she had close connections to a Chinese Communist Party linked organisation. She has also faced close scrutiny of her political fundraising activities, which have raised more than $1 million for the Liberals.
She was forced to cancel an $80-a-head fundraiser last month, which had promoted former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu as a special guest, with party sources saying “the optics were just wrong”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stridently defended the Victorian MP and hit out at Labor for the “grubby overtones” behind the attacks.
The trial over the results in the seats continues in the Federal Court next week.
Clay Lucas is a senior reporter for The Age. Clay has worked at The Age since 2005, covering urban affairs, transport, state politics, local government and workplace relations for The Age and Sunday Age.