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Fadden voters are not looking at the past, says Dutton

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has dismissed a Labor attack campaign in the Fadden by-election.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has dismissed a Labor attack campaign in the Fadden by-election. Photo: AAP

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has dismissed a Labor attack campaign in the Fadden by-election, saying he expected voters would “look forward, not back”.

Labor has been running social media advertising targeting the retired MP for Fadden and former minister Stuart Robert, who was mentioned in the Robodebt royal commission report as having made misleading public comments about the unlawful scheme.

Campaigning in Fadden on Thursday, Mr Dutton said electing the LNP’s candidate Cameron Caldwell would send a message to the federal government about doing more on the cost of living.

He said Labor was running a negative campaign to get its candidate Letitia Del Fabbro elected to the Gold Coast seat.

“I think people are looking forward, not back,” Mr Dutton said.

The Australian Electoral Commission is concerned about low voter turnout at pre-poll booths ahead of Saturday’s by-election.

But Mr Dutton said there was “always a reduction” at byelections and he hoped people would turn out in great numbers.

“There’s just not the awareness that comes with a general election,” he later told Sydney radio station 2GB.

“There’d be a lot of people that probably haven’t even heard yet that there is the by-election.”

Mr Robert retained the seat in 2022 with a 10.6 per cent margin over Ms Del Fabbro.

There are 13 candidates vying for the seat.

Mr Dutton said despite the double-digit margin held by the party, the coalition was not taking the seat for granted.

“The Labor Party has been throwing a lot of mud and dirt in this smear campaign, but I think most people will see through that,” he said.

– AAP

Topics: Peter Dutton
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