Sporting club asked parents to volunteer for Palmer

 

LABOR is furious about parents of a Gold Coast rugby league club being asked to volunteer for Clive Palmer's candidates on election day.

ALP campaign workers on the Goast Coast have seized on a private Facebook post sent to sports club parents which details how they can work booths for Palmer's United Australia Party at the State poll on Saturday.

The Bulletin understands the post is not a one-off incident or isolated to just UAP and the football club. It puts a spotlight on how sporting and community groups are under pressure to provide their army of members to help candidates.

A message posted to a parents’ Facebook group by senior president Tim Mahoney. Picture: Supplied
A message posted to a parents’ Facebook group by senior president Tim Mahoney. Picture: Supplied

Gold Coast Tigers senior president Tim Mahoney in a Facebook post to Under 18's families talks about a 2021 "sponsorship opportunity".

"We have just received a request for volunteers from our 2020 Major Sponsor, Clive Palmer, to assist the UAP at the polling booths on election day," he wrote.

Mr Mahoney said the club needed to keep Mr Palmer on side to help the club secure future sponsorship deals.

"Polling booths are open from 8am to 6pm on Saturday 31st October. Mini buses have been organised, and will collect volunteers from Southport Tigers at 7am and 1pm."

Volunteers were told they could work one of two shifts and a "T-shirt and hat, as well as lunch, water and snacks, will be provided".

State Development Minister Kate Jones said: "This is a new low. The LNP and Clive Palmer are using children as a political pawn in this election.

"Deb Frecklington must come clean with Gold Coasters - what deal has she done with Clive Palmer to get Sam O'Connor over the line in Bonney.

"This proves that there has been a secret deal done in a crucial marginal seat on the Gold Coast."

Clive Palmer in Townsville endorsing his Clive Palmer's United Australia Party candidates. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Clive Palmer in Townsville endorsing his Clive Palmer's United Australia Party candidates. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Mr O'Connor holds Bonney with a margin of 1.7 per cent and has faced a torrid community Facebook campaign after LNP leader Deb Frecklington admitted being prepared to talk with council about a future offshore cruise ship terminal on the Spit.

The UAP could play a key role in the seat's outcome with its Bonney candidate David Bark making it clear during a Bulletin forum where his preferences would be going.

"I'm there for Sam. Our preferences are going to Sam. We need a change of government and we're there for that reason," he said.

"You saw what Clive … caused in the federal election. We're certainly behind giving our preferences to Sam. We believe that we need to open these borders."

UAP Bonney candidate David Bark said he was not aware of the sports club situation but vowed he would investigate when approached by Bulletin reporters.

The Bulletin has sought comment from the club, but has not yet received a response.

 

 

paul.weston@news.com.au

 

 

 

 

Originally published as 'This is a new low for Gold Coast politics'