LIBERAL Party candidate for Bendigo Greg Bickley won’t say if he’s received campaign donations, how much he’s spent on his election bid and advertising, who has donated to his campaign or whether he’ll have to declare any funds.
ALP candidate Lisa Chesters said she had spent less than $10,000 on her bid for the seat of Bendigo, and had received $1500 from her sister and $3000 from former MP Lindsay Tanner.
She said she had raised money through the donation and various fund-raisers including ALP branch dinners and sausage sizzles, but had received no financial support from the party. But Mr Bickley, who has had several commercials on television, would only say he had been humbled by his support.
“I’ve received great support from my electorate so far and I’m humbled by the willingness of people to contribute in our campaign for a change of government,” he said.
“That’s all I’ll say about that.
“I’ll be planning to put my face in front of as many people as possible in the campaign, to meet as many people as I can.
“It’s not an inexpensive exercise.”
He wouldn’t comment on a recent TV commercial critical of federal budget cuts to hospitals.
Ms Chesters said she had a “small budget” for her campaign and when pressed said she had spent less than $10,000.
“Any kind of paid advertising I would do would be quite limited and would come towards the end of the campaign,” she said.
“I believe that’s the kind of politics people are over.
“I’ll say that it’s more likely the Liberals in Bendigo will outspend me 10 to one. The Liberals want to run a nasty, glossy, negative campaign and you need a lot of money to do that.”
Mr Bickley said he didn’t want to discuss his approach to advertising but encouraged people to donate to his campaign.
Candidates must disclose all donations and gifts, and the names of people or companies donating more than $12,100, since declaring their intention to run.
They must also declare their election expenditure. But major party candidates generally roll their donations into the party, meaning there are few records of local expenditure.
All candidates in the 2010 election declared nil gifts and nil election expenditure.