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GetUp cleared of interfering with inquiry

GetUp did not interfere with the progress of a parliamentary committee inquiry into its 2016 election survey in an “improper” way, it has been ruled

Activist group GetUp did not intentionally interfere in the progress of a committee’s inquiry by providing misleading information, parliament has heard.

Liberal MP Ben Morton last week claimed the activist group had provided false and misleading information to a parliamentary committee looking into the 2016 federal election.

GetUp thwarted the committee’s attempts to see results of its member survey and lied about the issues its supporters wanted to focus on for the election campaign, Mr Morton said.

But the group didn’t prevent the committee from undertaking its inquiry, Speaker Tony Smith said.

“Although I can see that the conduct of GetUp in response to queries from the committee was unhelpful and at times misleading, it is not clear to me that the conduct was done intentionally to interfere with the committee in a way that was improper,” he said.

GetUp’s national director Paul Oosting said Mr Morton had attempted to smear the group with a “vindictive conspiracy theory”.

Mr Morton was part of the “hard right” in the Liberal Party trying to get political points, Mr Oosting said.

“Parliament has told them today to pull their head in and they should fall in line,” he said.

“It’s actually in their interests because every time these hard right politicians attack everyday people for taking part in our democracy, we dig in.”

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