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Staff Reporter

Wednesday, 25th August 2010 at 3:14 pm

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GetUp! Praised at ‘Balance of Power’ Forum

By Staff Reporter,

Not for Profit activitist group GetUp! has been praised for its High Court challenge to the electoral laws which has been described as influencing the outcome of the national election.

The praise came from Independent MP Rob Oakeshott who was speaking at the National Press Club Forum with three other Independent and Green MPs who hold the balance of power in the Parliament, and who are set to determine who forms government.

Oakeshott, Adam Bandt, the Greens Members for Melbourne, Independent Tony Windsor and former National turned Independent, Bob Katter accepted GetUp!'s invitation to take part in the Forum to give them an opportunity explain what they stand for.

The Independent for the NSW seat of Lyne, Rob Oakeshott congratulated GetUp saying it had enfranchised voters and he re-iterated the words of analyst Antony Green that the Not for Profit organisation had influenced the outcome of the national election.

Analysts have said that from an "independent" organisation formed for those who are "disillusioned with party politics" the hung Parliament means the "independent" organisation could affect the result.

Two weeks before the Federal Election GetUp! won its bid to have the Electoral Act amended, with the High Court ordering that 100,000 people to be added to the electoral roll before the August 21 election.

GetUp! had challenged the Howard Government amendments to the Electoral Act that stipulated that the electoral rolls close to new enrolments at 8pm the same day election writs are issued, with 3 days given for updating address details.

Prior to this amendment in 2006, Australians had 7 days to enrol or update enrolment details after writs were issued.

Oakeschott described the four MPs holding the balance of power as returning power to the local member.

He says Australia has lost focus on the local member and as the counting is still close, the four MPs were enjoying the moment of reforming the process of Parliament.

Oakeshott says the Independents have sent a letter to both Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Oppposition Leader, Tony Abbott calling for information on seven key issues, in particular the costing on all policies.


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