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‘This is not a normal election’: Charges laid over Eden-Monaro email scam

A man has been charged with telecommunications offences after allegedly sending fake emails to voters about Eden-Monaro by-election Labor candidate Kristy McBain.

The 32-year-old Blacktown man was arrested by federal police during a search warrant at his house and charged with one count of using a telecommunications service to menace, harass or cause offence.

The AFP commenced an investigation following reports of spam emails, which appeared to be from legitimate sources, being sent from an unidentified user to the Australian community and various organisations.

The emails were “offensive and harassing in nature”, the AFP say.

The untruthful emails allegedly claimed the Labor candidate had dropped out of the race after contracting COVID-19 and being admitted to hospital.

Shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon told Deborah Knight “COVID has changed the political dynamic”, but while Labor is facing a “tough” election, he’s confident Ms McBain will get across the line.

“This is not a normal by-election. The advantages of incumbency are enormous.”

Energy Minister Angus Taylor admitted to Deborah Knight the government is going into the by-election on the back foot.

“On average we get a 3.8 swing against governments in by-elections, and the government hasn’t won a seat like this in 100 years.

“But you know, Fiona [Kotvojs] is a fantastic candidate.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Australian Federal Police