ACT News


Call for inquiry into conduct of Seselja preselection

The ACT Justice Department has been asked to investigate the conduct of the Canberra Liberals' recent preselection.

Attorney-General Simon Corbell told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday that his office had received a complaint from a ''concerned member'' of the Liberals' ACT division asking that the process be investigated.

Mr Corbell was responding to a question in Assembly question time from Labor backbencher Mick Gentleman as the government sought to pressure the opposition over the ugly brawl that has divided the Liberals since Zed Seselja declared early last month that he would challenge for Gary Humphries' Senate spot.

''I have received a complaint to my office from a concerned member of the Liberal Party,'' Mr Corbell said.

As the opposition MLAs cried ''who could it be?'' Mr Corbell replied: 'He must be part of the disaffected rump.''

He said it was the second complaint the Office of Regulatory Services had received about the preselection after the office's registrar-general ordered the party to hand over documents to another party member who claimed they had been unlawfully withheld.


''These people are raising complaints with the government in relation to the Associations Incorporation Act,'' Mr Corbell said.

''The circumstances around these complaints is that the member was denied procedural fairness in terms of the conduct of the Liberal Party and whether or not he was allowed to vote in the recent preselection between Mr Humphries and Mr Seselja.

''The constituent has outlined that there are discrepancies in the way the constitution has been applied and they contacted me seeking further action and asking that further action be taken in relation to the matter.

''Indeed this member was so upset that they indicated to my office that they have resigned from the Liberal Party as a result.''

A Liberal Party spokesman did not respond to requests for a comment on Thursday.

Mr Corbell said it was unclear whether the registrar-general would find cause to investigate the complaints. One option was to advise the dispute be taken to court.