Elliot puts anti-vaxxers over Fraser
INCUMBENT Richmond MP Justine Elliot said she was not endorsing the friend of a cult leader and a vaccination sceptic over Matthew Fraser, despite preferencing the Nationals candidate below them.
Mrs Elliot will urge her voters to preference her main political rival eighth on the ballot sheet for the upcoming election.
In doing so, Mrs Elliot's how-to-vote cards will suggest Labor voters preference Ray Karam and Tom Barnett ahead of Mr Fraser.
Mr Karam has a detailed friendship with Serge Benhayon, who a jury in the Supreme Court declared was "the leader of a socially harmful cult" and "a charlatan".
Mr Barnett, as reported in the May 4 edition of the Tweed Daily News, is running on a controversial platform of scrapping National Immunisation Programs and stopping water fluoridation.
But Mrs Elliot said she was not endorsing these two ahead of Mr Fraser, but making a clear choice for her voters.
"The election is a pretty clear choice - you have Labor's fair go and Liberals and Nationals with their cuts, chaos and disunity," she said.
"That is the reason I am saying to people to vote Labor first and change the government.
"I am saying to people to put Matthew Fraser last because he and Scott Morrison and the Liberals and Nationals represent those cuts, chaos and disunity and also because of Matthew Fraser's comments about the community being the 'great unwashed' and the fact he wants to cut aged pension and penalty rates."
But Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser hit back, urging the community "not to believe Justine's lies".
"What we do know about Justine Elliot is she is giving us a great big retiree tax, carbon tax, housing tax plus an open-border policy and now we know she supports anti-vaccination by preferencing an anti-vaxxer candidate above the National party, it's an absolute disgrace," he said.
Mr Fraser said he believed Mrs Elliot was "putting politics first in a desperate attempt to retain the seat".
"Justine will do whatever it takes, even if it means sending messages that anti-vaxxers are better than the Nationals," he said.
"I have a daughter who is four-and-a-half years old, she has been vaccinated and I personally have a concern about people who haven't been vaccinated and are then mixing with my child.
"This is the issue parents right across Richmond are facing.
"Over the decades, vaccines have eradicated diseases such as polio, there is a place for vaccinations in Australia as they prevents illness and disease, it's about protecting our children and as a parent that's my main concern."
Mr Fraser said he did not know enough about independent Ray Karam to comment.