LABOR had embarked on “dirty tricks” with its latest campaign effort, Indi independent candidate Cathy McGowan said yesterday.
Attacking the character of political opponents, she said, was “absolutely unacceptable”.
“I think the Labor party should try to run their own campaign and let me worry about mine,” she said.
But Labor was quick to defend its automated phone message campaign, which was sent across Indi on Thursday night.
A Labor source said the tactic was decided on by the party’s head office and it was not new.
That was backed by Labor Indi candidate Robyn Walsh’s campaign manager, Lauren McCully.
“It’s nothing that we haven’t already heard or known about since 2001,” she said.
“And that is that Sophie was parachuted into the seat and that yes, Tony Windsor made the comment that Sophie won the nasty prize in parliament.”
Mrs McCully said Labor head office was right in saying that campaign strategies came from outside an electorate from time-to-time.
“I imagine we’re not the only seat this has happened to and I can honestly imagine the Liberal party has used these tactics if not in this election but also in previous elections,” she said.
Ms McGowan said she knew nothing about the auto-phone messages until she started hearing from people who had received the calls.
“It’s got nothing to do with me, it’s a major party,” she said.
“And the thought that I would be linked with the independent-Labor alliance is just so naive.”