Left-wing activist group GetUp! complained to the Australian Electoral Commission, arguing the promise could be tantamount to bribery. The AEC referred the complaint to the AFP on Tuesday evening.
Controversial Nationals MP George Christensen has been referred to the Australian Federal Police over allegations he may have breached anti-bribery provisions.
Mr Christensen earlier this week pledged to personally donate $12,000 to a turtle sanctuary in the Whitsundays – if he is re-elected on July 2.
Left-wing activist group GetUp! complained to the Australian Electoral Commission, arguing the promise could be tantamount to bribery. The AEC referred the complaint to the AFP on Tuesday evening. The Nationals MP is a bête noire of the Left, well-known for his socially conservative views on same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program, which he fought hard against in the Coalition party room.
He has also sought assurances from the government that Syrian refugees would not be resettled in his electorate, citing concerns about the availability of jobs. Labor has expressed hope of picking up the seat, but the party has only held it once in the past 40 years.
Mr Christensen did not attend a scheduled announcement in the neighbouring electorate of Capricornia on Wednesday morning, citing illness. Fairfax Media has contacted his office for comment.
GetUp! national director Paul Oosting welcomed the referral to the AFP, and said it indicated the MP had “questions to answer” about his pledge.
“Mr Christensen’s claims that he is being targeted because of his extreme right-wing views fail to acknowledge that he is now the subject of a Federal Police investigation,” Mr Oosting said.
“If members of Parliament want to make donations, that’s all well and good, but they shouldn’t be contingent on people voting for them.”