The Liberal Party has launched a new website attacking left-wing activist group GetUp! after the organisation revealed its hit list of “hard right” Coalition MPs.
Federal Liberal Party director Andrew Hirst sent an email to party members announcing the start of a new website “GetAGrip!”, which claims to “expose the truth” about GetUp!
It comes as The West Australian can reveal GetUp! is considering targeting the seat of Curtin following the preselection of socially conservative Liberal candidate Celia Hammond.
“GetUp! pretends that it is non-partisan, yet it aggressively campaigns for left-wing issues and against Coalition governments and candidates,” Mr Hirst’s email said.
“Did you know that Bill Shorten was a founding GetUp! board member in 2005 and his union, the AWU, gave them $100,000 of seed funding?”
The new website warns that GetUp! will receive more than $10 million this year to assist its campaigns and asks for $15 contributions to the election fighting fund.
GetUp! is running campaigns against what it describes as “hard right” Coalition MPs, including Attorney-General Christian Porter, Tony Abbott and Health Minister Greg Hunt.
Yesterday, GetUp! national campaign director Paul Oosting revealed to The West Australian it was looking at adding Curtin to its hit list.
He said the group, which has more than 7000 members in Curtin, was also considering polling in the area.
“The moderate candidate failed in the pre-selection and the hard-right faction succeeded in getting their candidate up and I think that’s something most Australians would be concerned about,” Mr Oosting said.
“If it was a moderate candidate it would probably remain a safe seat and it would be crazy to even think about (campaigning there)”.
When asked whether the group would support independent Curtin candidate Louise Stewart, Mr Oosting said: “It’s on our radar, from what I’ve seen she has a strong progressive platform and could pose a threat to the hard right as we’ve seen in places like Mayo, Wentworth and Warringah.”
Mr Oosting said in Mr Porter's seat of Pearce where they were aiming to make about 150,000 phone calls before the election.
Ms Stewart, who describes herself as an “independent Liberal”, said she was not a supporter of GetUp! and she had not spoken with them.
“But they nailed it when they said...the libs conservative selection shows they are no longer connected to the community,” Ms Stewart said.
WA Liberal State director Sam Calabrese said it was “no surprise that GetUp!, the campaign wing of Labor and the Greens, is planning to campaign against Liberals”.