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Labor seeks Federal Court order over ‘misleading’ election posters in Higgins

The Australian Labor Party has sought a court order to have signs removed that are aimed at disadvantaging the party in the marginal Melbourne seat of Higgins.
Using the green and white colours of the Greens party, the words “put Labor last” were featured on the signs advising voters how to cast their ballot.

The Australian Electoral Commission said it is aware of the injunction being sought and it is in talks with the Australian Government Solicitor to join the court case.

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The Australian Labor Party said they believe the Liberal Party is behind the posters “impersonating the Australian Greens, and asking Greens voters to put Labor last”.
Labor said in the statement that the Liberal Party and Katie Allen were “publishing material, impersonating the Australian Greens, and asking Greens voters to put Labor last”.
Liberal MP Katie Allen holds the seat of Higgins in Melbourne’s inner southeast suburbs on a margin of 2.6 per cent.
Labor claims Ms Allen’s team put the signs up at a number of polling centres in the seat, which includes the suburbs of Prahran, South Yarra, Windsor, Toorak and parts of Glen Iris.

In a statement, Labor said Ms Allen’s staffers were observed putting up the “fraudulent materials”.

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“The Katie Allen campaigners were observed unpacking their cars, having been supplied with a range of materials that promote Katie Allen, as well as the fraudulent corflutes,” it said in a statement.
Labor said the signs were an “electoral fraud in breach of Commonwealth electoral law”.
The party said it has filed an urgent court injunction in the Federal Court to have the AEC remove the signs.
The AEC said it is investigating the case and “whether the authorisation on the signage is valid and if the signage is misleading in relation to the casting of a vote”.
A Liberal Party spokesman said it had no involvement with the signs and the party is unaware of who is behind it.
The Australian Greens derided the signs as “fake Liberal signs”, urging voters to not “fall for the Libs’ desperate tricks”.
It said it has reported the case to the police and the AEC.
“LIES BUSTED: the Libs are trying to put up fake signs in Higgins. Already reported to AEC & police,” the Greens said in a post on Twitter, adding instructions on how to vote for the party and preference Labor over the Liberal Party.
At the 2019 federal election, misleading polling booth signs became the that threatened to overturn the results in the Victorian marginal seats of Kooyong and adjacent Chisholm that were won by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and his colleague Gladys Liu.

The signs, which were written in Chinese and made to resemble the purple and white colours used in AEC materials, were installed by the Liberal Party in 13 polling booths in Kooyong and 29 booths in Chisholm.

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