Subject: Pending charges against five NSW Liberals for distribution of a racist leaflet during the 2007 election campaign
ALBANESE: News that five Liberal figures will have action taken against them by the police, regarding the disgraceful leaflet that was distributed in the dying days of the Federal election campaign in Lindsay, is of real concern. Brendan Nelson must show leadership and intervene into the NSW Branch of the Liberal Party to weed out these extreme right wing elements.
Brendan Nelson’s leadership has depended upon support from these extreme elements, that with each preselection more and more enter both the State and Federal caucuses of the Liberal Party.
This is a pattern of behaviour which we saw first in the Greenway campaign in 2004, then repeated in Lindsay in 2007, and these extreme right wing elements have been supported by the leadership of the Liberal Party. The fact you have key figures in the organisational wing of the Liberal Party engaged in this action to deceive the voters in Lindsay, highlights the concern that is there.
Brendan Nelson must distance himself from this action and must take action to weed out the extreme right wing elements of the NSW Liberal Party, but he appears unable because he’s depended on those very same forces to keep him in the leadership of the Liberal Party.
ALBANESE: We know there’s many more people are potentially involved with this. We still don’t know who produced the leaflet; where it was produced; was any taxpayers’ funds used in the production of this leaflet; and we know that serious figures, members of the Administrative Committee of the Liberal Party… We know also that these tactics were used in the election before this, but that they got away with it. … inaudible… this time and they might have gotten away with it again. These sane elements of the NSW Liberal Party deserve support from the leadership of the Liberal Party to get rid of these extreme right wing elements.
JOURNALIST: So in a way you wouldn’t be surprised if the ALP is targeted by such groups again?
ALBANESE: Well this is a pattern of behaviour. We’ve seen these extreme right wing elements supported in preselections both State and Federal by the NSW Liberals. It’s quite clear that there’s a cancer operating in the NSW Liberals; that it has supported a range of figures including supported Brendan Nelson becoming leader of the Liberal Party, and it’s pretty clear that action needs to be taken to remove root and branch these extreme right wing elements from the Liberal Party. Otherwise we can expect to see these occurrences again.
ALBANESE: This was action taken by the police themselves. The Labor Party attempted to expose this activity after a tip off from a deep throat within the Liberal Party about this activity occurring. But we need to make sure we weed out these extreme right wing elements and Brendan Nelson needs to show leadership on this issue and state what he and other members of the Federal Liberal Party know about this activity in the dying days of a desperate Howard Government.
Thanks very much. ENDS