PERTH (CU)_ Malcolm Heffernan, a candidate for One Nation, was recently referred to the Australian Federal Police after being accused of nominating to run for two different parties on the opposite sides of the country. However, he is pointing the finger at One Nation, which had said his “services were no longer required”.
The Australian Electoral Commission said on Friday that Heffernan was referred to the AFP after it was discovered that he nominated to stand in the New South Wales seat of Banks, as well as the Western Australian seat of Brand. The former nomination was for One Nation, while the latter was for the Australian Federation party.
However, he blamed Pauline Hanson’s right-wing populist party saying he had “no idea” the party had submitted his nomination form, since he was told the party had found someone else to run in the seat of Banks. While the AEC says Heffernan’s nomination forms included a signed declaration that he will not be a candidate in any other election held the same day, he says he had “no idea” that he was nominated to run in two different electorates on the opposite sides of the country. “It’s 100% not my fault,” he said.
Clarifying further details on the matter, Heffernan said he was initially asked by One Nation to run for them in Brand, from Western Australia, but was dropped after the party discovered he had previously been a candidate for the now defunct far-right party founded by former senator Fraser Anning. Later, he was approached by One Nation once again, but this time, asking him to run in the seat of Banks, of New South Wales, on the other side of the country, but they changed their mind for the second time.
“[…] after I did my application and they rang me again and said no actually we’ve got someone else and their exact words were ‘your services are no longer required’,” Heffernan told the Guardian. “Then they said, well will you still help us campaign and I pretty much said you can get stuffed, you’ve given me the run around since early March.”