Federal member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has displayed confidence for the seat of Grey, showing he is not threatened after the left wing lobby group GetUp placed him on a ‘hard right’ voting list that will see active campaigns on the ‘winner’ leading into the likely May federal election.
GetUp has named 18 members of parliament (MPs) who are “… out of touch, anti-progress in parliament [and] are on borrowed time.”
As a result of the voting from GetUp’s members, the MP with the most votes will be actively campaigned against.
The national director of GetUp Paul Oosting says they will be gearing up to take on hard right MPs as they believe they should be targeting politicians who stand in the way of progress on issues they care most about.
Yet Mr Ramsey describes the group and their actions as an ‘insidious operation’ who “say that you are from the hard right and want to get rid of you”.
He says that in terms of Grey, an electorate that covers 32 council districts, he goes to great efforts to make sure what he says, on any topic is what he means and is the truth, something he hopes will hold his voters away from GetUp.
“I have never had anyone come back to me and say I was lying, wrong or that I was trying to mislead them. If I keep sticking to that I think that the electorate will stick to me”, Mr Ramsey said.
As Ramsey openly expresses his trust in the people of Grey, he says that GetUp material should be looked at closely and be accompanied with fact checks.
“There are a lot of things that get glossed over, half truths and in a time where we see a decline in mainstream media and organisations, on the internet they are filling that vacuum, but they do not have the same rigor and purpose about them”, Mr Ramsey said.
GetUp have written on their hard right website profile of Mr Ramsey that he is campaigning to build a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, backing oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight and supports cuts to penalty rates.
When approached about GetUp’s arguments, Mr Ramsey addressed and rebutted each point.
In terms of the nuclear waste repository and oil drilling in the Bight, Mr Ramsey says that he and the government will not enforce it in a community if they do not want it and there are processes in place on how a community is able to make that assessment.
“I am not telling either community they should have it, if it doesn’t go in Grey I am fine. Yet if either community wants it, I think they should be given their say. That is up to them. I am not pushing the issue either way”, Mr Ramsey said.
“On the drilling of the Bight, similarly the government along with a lot of other areas of government have appointed an independent, scientifically based commission to actually make the assessments and set the perimeters on the drilling applications, and what they would have to do to meet their criteria. The idea is that you don’t get politically influenced, or have ministers or members that live in an electorate trying to override the process.”
He also added that parliament has never voted on penalty rates and it is the job of Fair Work Australia to do so.
About 23,000 GetUp members who took part in the 2019 federal election survey, which, along with voter conversations, are set to determine GetUp’s campaign priorities and strategy for the year ahead and Mr Ramsey does not believe he is blocking progress in his electorate.
“I am in favour of jobs and people. I am in favour of improving infrastructure which is why we have got things like the Joy Baluch AM Bridge.”
“I am in favour of renewable energy. We have got renewable energy projects happening all over the seat of Grey, in particular in the Upper Spencer Gulf. In so many things, I can not see how they come up with these labels. Really the label GetUp are interested in is here is Rowan Ramsey sitting in Grey on a two percent margin, we will go for him.”
Forwarding to this year’s election, Mr Oosting from GetUp says that their effort is going to be huge.
“We already have thousands of hours committed by volunteers and are in awe of their dedication to have a lasting impact on election day.”