The New South Wales electoral commissioner says he is very concerned that people offered money by the No Land Tax Party to work on election day still have not been paid.
Colin Barry said the commission had received numerous complaints from people who handed out material at polling booths across NSW for the March 28 state election.
The Fair Work Ombudsman was also looking into the complaints, and a spokesman confirmed hundreds of people had sought its help on the issue.
Party leader Peter Jones said he was doing all he could to pay the workers, but he could not say when they would be paid.
Mr Barry said some of the people who worked for the No Land Tax Party mistakenly thought they had been employed by the NSW Electoral Commission.
Others thought the commission was “underwriting the offer” to pay them through the party’s registration, Mr Barry said.
He said that he had never seen a situation like it in the 30 years he had spent in electoral administration.
“I’m not aware of any political party paying people to hand out material on election day,” Mr Barry said.
“This was a very novel approach to say the least.”
In April, party leader Mr Jones revealed on national radio that the NSW No Land Tax party was bankrolled by wealthy Liberal Party backers in order to harvest preferences for the election.
The financial backers did not include current federal MPs, but Mr Jones declined to say if any former Liberal MPs were involved.
The party leader had also been accused of running dead people as candidates, and using stock images of actors in campaign material.
Mr Jones missed out on a seat un the Upper House by fewer than 400 votes, and said he was in the process of lodging a case with the Court of Disputed Returns.
Earlier, he said in the national radio interview that he was confident a court would overturn the election result unless the judge was “on the take, or on crystal meth”.
He said some Liberal candidates told his party’s workers to go home on election day, and that they would not be paid.
He said the resulting walk-out affected the party’s result, and he therefore did not gain enough votes to be eligible for public funding.
Mr Barry urged the 750 registered members of the party to call its executive to account for its actions, saying the scandal was tarnishing the reputation of the electoral commission as well as the party.
Mr Jones refused an interview with the ABC because of his “upcoming legal application”.
– with ABC