Voters misled: ReportAnthony claims ALP did deal with forests party to ?rob Richmond
By ZOE SATHERLEY
LARRY ANTHONY is sad but not sour.
The former Federal Youth and Family Minister yesterday said he lost the seat of Richmond in last year's Federal election because of a deliberate ploy by a minor party, Liberals for Forests (LFF), who masqueraded as the Liberal Party but directed preferences to the ALP.
That strategy, he said, nudged Labor's Justine Elliot over the line by the narrowest of margins ? she won the seat by just 153 votes.
It broke his heart ? 'being the Member for Richmond was my heart and soul' ? but he has moved on and built a new life in the corporate world and doing voluntary charity work.
Mr Anthony's belief he was deliberately and mischievously dudded has been cemented by the majority findings of the parliamentary committee which looked into the conduct of the 2004 Federal election.
In its report released on Monday it raised concerns about LFF 'deliberately and deceptively misleading voters into unintentionally voting for them'.
However, the minority report by the ALP members of the committee disagreed with these findings.
Mr Anthony said he believed the ALP had done a deal with LFF whereby the ALP funded their campaign in return for preferences and a deal to help them in the Senate.
"I believe Justine Elliot knew about this," Mr Anthony said.
"But I'm not worried. I believe in karma and karma will get her in the end."
These allegations were put to Ms Elliot yesterday, but she refused to comment.
She also would not comment on why she had not appeared before the parliamen- tary inquiry.
Full report findings: www.aph.gov.au/committees