Member for Moore Shane Love MLA has called for an inquiry into electoral interference following the Chamber of Minerals and Energy campaign ahead of the recent state election.
Addressing the WA Parliament, Mr Love said the level of interference during the most recent state election campaign from special interest groups was very worrying and a threat to democracy.
In Parliament Mr Love displayed a coreflute poster that had been authorised by and printed for the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.
“The Chamber of Minerals and Energy, a large and well funded organisation, went to great lengths and great expense to get their message across during the election campaign,” Mr Love explained.
“It is not the message that was being pedalled that I am concerned about in this instance, but rather the method this group employed.
“In addition to the extensive media campaign in the lead up to the March 11 election, the CME had corflutes on show at polling booths and throughout my electorate; these posters did not have the correct authorisations required for election material.”
Mr Love said the CME had been involved in the political process but did not represent a political party, nor tender any candidates.
“The Nationals WA’s former leader, Brendan Grylls fell victim to a concerted campaign funded to the tune of millions of dollars by companies such as Rio Tinto and BHP – the CME campaign was relentless,” Mr Love said.
“The CME example demonstrates how special interest groups can target an individual member and influence a particular outcome in the election.
“That is a very powerful tool and it opens up a real Pandora’s box in Western Australian politics; this is a very dangerous precedent and should not be allowed to continue.”
Mr Love said the matter needed examination before the next state election and emphasised that the focus of an inquiry needed to be the process of interference and how this has the potential to impact the political process as we know it.