A VICTORIAN Liberal senator has defended her advertisement attacking Indi MP Helen Haines by saying it shows the independent politician will support Labor if there is a hung parliament after the federal election.
Jane Hume authorised the press advert, which was in The Border Mail on Saturday, and stated "In 2021, Helen Haines voted with Labor and the Greens 80% of the time. Indi didn't vote Labor."
Dr Haines on Monday labelled it "gutter politics" involving "taxpayer funds to spread blatant misinformation about my voting record".
She cited her record of voting 285 times on new laws, since being elected in 2019, which shows her siding with the Coalition and Labor 48 per cent each and neither of them four per cent.
Dr Haines said Indi voters deserved better than "negative attack ads" and it should be "illegal to lie in political advertising".
"I call on all other candidates in Indi to vow not to spread misinformation this election campaign," she said.
"We owe this to the people of Indi.
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"The health of our democracy and Indi's future depends on it."
Senator Hume said the figures in the advertisement included all 2021 votes in parliament, such as those for suspension of standing orders as well as amendments and legislative divisions.
"For comparison, using the same metric, in 2018 (former Indi MP) Cathy McGowan's votes in parliament were 50-50, demonstrating balance in her approach," Senator Hume said.
"This is a big indication of who Ms Haines will side with in a hung parliament, another thing she is not being transparent about."
Senator Hume was last week more specific about her claim that Dr Haines would support Labor in a deadlocked parliament.
Her comments were in the context of the Victorian Labor state government not supporting federal initiatives such as a McKoy Street overpass on the Hume Freeway near Wodonga.
"The Victorian Labor Government have a track record of neglecting Wodonga," Senator Hume said.
"Which is why it staggers me that in 2021 Helen Haines chose to vote with Labor 80 per-cent of the time in parliament, and that Helen Haines will side with Anthony Albanese in a hung parliament."
Dr Haines replied: "In a balance of power situation my actions would be driven by my values and the issues that matter to the people of Indi."
She added it was "disappointing" Liberal candidate Ross Lyman was "allowing a Melbourne-based senator to spread misinformation in the campaign for Indi".
Senator Hume is the federal minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Services; and Women's Economic Security and is the Liberal Party's duty representative for Indi.
Labor candidate for Indi Nadia David said the advertisement showed how threatened the Liberal Party felt in the lead-up to the election.
"I'm sure Labor has voted with the government on a number of occasions, that's how government works, so to use that to say Helen is some sort of Labor stooge...she's shown she's anything but," Ms David said.
The Beechworth academic agreed with Dr Haines' call on misinformation.
"I won't go down that track, voters don't need to hear about us attacking on another and it's really dirty politics and it's not tolerated by Indi voters," Ms David said.
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