COUNTRY Labor in the New England electorate says it will retain Barnaby Joyce at fifth on its how-to-vote card, despite The Nationals candidate putting One Nation at number six ahead of Labor.
While Labor candidate Stephen Hewitt said he was “appalled” by Mr Joyce’s decision, Labor wouldn’t be changing its preference order.
“We make our preference decisions on the basis of principles, not cheap politics,” he said.
Mr Hewitt said the Coalition had branded One Nation a “racist” party and told its candidates not to preference it, but Mr Joyce had chosen to ignore that.
“One Nation has a policy platform to ‘abolish’ multiculturalism, promote zero net immigration and repeal the Racial Discrimination Act,” Mr Hewitt said.
“Despite this, Mr Joyce has labelled the Coalition’s ban ... ‘behind the times’.
“This really shows where Mr Joyce is coming from. This is a man who lacks the commonsense and integrity to distance himself from an extreme political party that promotes hatred and division. It is Mr Joyce who is behind the times.”
Mr Hewitt said the New England was a vibrant and welcoming region known for its tolerance and progressive outlook.
“People from all over the world come here to work and study and are given a fair go. I think Mr Joyce’s poor judgement here sends the wrong message out about the region,” he said.