GetUp’s was found by the Australian Electoral Commission to be “prima facie” an associated entity of Labor and the Greens due to its 2016 election campaign activities, as revealed in Senate estimates hearings earlier this week.

Given the scope of GetUp’s campaigning during the 2016 election it’s not a surprising conclusion – but what came next raises even more serious questions.

From The Australian :

“GetUp was found “prima facie” to be an associated entity of Labor or the Greens by the Australian Electoral Commission, in a detailed investigation of the activist group’s campaigning activity during the 2016 federal election.

But the preliminary finding, which would have undermined GetUp’s claim to be independent and imposed tougher financial disclosure, was later reversed after the AEC sought further submissions from GetUp and secured legal advice.

The AEC’s initial position, confirmed during a Senate estimates hearing, is the closest GetUp has come to being recognised under Australian electoral law as controlled by, or operating “wholly or to a significant extent for the benefit” of, a registered political party.

The investigation, started in November 2016, just four months after the election, was the third for the left-leaning campaign group since 2005 and most rigorous.

GetUp has resisted all three attempts to have the AEC officially change its status, claiming to be fiercely independent.

Advance Australia National Director, Gerard Benedet said that subsequent to the revelation in Senate Estimates GetUp has refused to reveal the “further submissions” it made to the AEC to over-rule their decision.

“No doubt Getup had some fierce Labor Lawyers arguing on their behalf – it certainly benefits Labor that GetUp can con people into thinking they’re independent and somehow above politics,” Mr Benedet said.

“The fact is that GetUp are up to their ears in dirty, left-wing politics and they are dragging Labor even further to the left. This is evidenced by Labor’s radical climate policy last week.”

Mr Benedet said further evidence of the Labor/Union/GetUp alliance was brought to light this week with the revelation that a polling company used by GetUp, Greenpeace and left-leaning media companies was actually owned by two militant Unions.

“And surprise, surprise the polling results favour Labor or their left-wing policy causes. So when mainstream Australians read that a majority of people support a particular far-left cause they’re actually getting fake, fake news.  This manipulative tactic is deliberately designed to silence everyday Australians into submission.”

“This is what mainstream Australians are up against this election – a deliberate, deceptive alliance of radical, left-wing forces that are determined to change our way of life.”