GetUp tar­gets Ab­bott, Dut­ton

NewsMail - - NATION -

LEFT-WING ac­tivists GetUp are amass­ing a mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar war chest to at­tack Coali­tion MPs in­clud­ing Tony Ab­bott and Peter Dut­ton at the loom­ing fed­eral elec­tion.

GetUp’s lat­est fi­nan­cial re­port, re­cently filed with the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion, shows do­na­tions rose about 20 per cent in 2017-18 to $9.8 mil­lion from $8.3 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to the group’s an­nual re­port, to be re­leased to­day, the jump was the prod­uct of an in­crease in the av­er­age do­na­tion – to $50 from $44 – along with a rise in the num­ber of con­tri­bu­tions to 65,000 from 57,000.

“It’s clear that when politi­cians bicker among them­selves while block­ing ac­tion on the is­sues that mat­ter, like cli­mate change, you’ll see an uptick in the num­ber of peo­ple look­ing to have their voice heard,” GetUp na­tional direc­tor Paul Oosting said.

“Ev­ery day peo­ple are des­per­ate for new ways to hold politi­cians to ac­count and that is re­flected in our ac­counts.”

Trends in ear­lier ac­counts sug­gest GetUp en­joys a boost in do­na­tion rates in fi­nan­cial years con­tain­ing a fed­eral elec­tion, mean­ing it may be able to raise as much as $12 mil­lion in 2018-19.

“Cer­tainly in elec­tion times, GetUp mem­bers recog­nise the op­por­tu­nity to ef­fect change on the is­sues that are im­por­tant to them,” Mr Oosting said.

GetUp op­poses new coal mines, off­shore de­ten­tion and Aus­tralia Day be­ing on Jan­uary 26. It fights for the ABC and a pub­licly funded clean en­ergy re­tailer. It says Aus­tralia does not need “mean­ing­ful gov­ern­ment sur­pluses”. Its pol­icy sec­tion says this is be­cause “a gov­ern­ment who is­sues debt in a cur­rency they con­trol is never at risk of de­fault”.

While it says its “work is driven by val­ues, not party pol­i­tics”, its main fo­cus in 2019 will be get­ting rid of as many high-pro­file mem­bers of the Mor­ri­son gov­ern­ment as pos­si­ble.

It is ask­ing vis­i­tors to its web­site to “help de­ter­mine which hard right MPs GetUp tar­gets in the up­com­ing fed­eral elec­tion” by vot­ing for the top three they want ousted.

The Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Mr Dut­ton, who rep­re­sents the north Bris­bane seat of Dick­son, is lead­ing the vote, fol­lowed by Tony Ab­bott. GetUp has al­ready run “call­ing par­ties” into the for­mer prime min­is­ter’s north Syd­ney seat of War­ringah.

Univer­sity of Syd­ney pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal so­ci­ol­ogy Ari­adne Vromen said these were high times for GetUp, which she has stud­ied.

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