Labor candidate for Longman Susan Lamb. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Labor candidate for Longman Susan Lamb. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Embarrassing leak rocks by-election bid

SUSAN Lamb's by-election fight has been rocked by an embarrassing leak of internal records showing that her office was planning an election ­campaign ahead of the devastating High Court ruling that sparked her resignation.

Just days out from the knife-edge poll in Longman, Ms Lamb's office last night ­vehemently denied she was ­secretly planning her by-election campaign in April, saying the preparations were for a general federal election, which is not due until May next year and can't be called earlier than August 4.

Labor candidate for Longman Susan Lamb. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Labor candidate for Longman Susan Lamb. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

The embarrassing release of information from Ms Lamb's office reveals that ­almost a month before the High Court handed down its decision on May 9, her office was in the throes of election planning.

The Asana app, which is like an office planning tool, had numerous entries, including "Call to arms on Longman FEC letterhead and send out to all branches", a short biography for Ms Lamb, plus requests under the title "Campaign Comms" for letterhead, calico bags, cards and door hangers.

The High Court revealed on May 4 that it would hand down its findings on May 9 into the case of then Labor Senator Katy Gallagher, whose case would have ramifications for Ms Lamb.

Ms Gallagher was found to be a dual citizen, and sparked Ms Lamb and Labor's Justine Keay to resign on the same day for also being dual citizens.

April entries into a workplace organiser used by Ms Lamb's staff - and exclusively obtained by The Courier-Mail - states campaign materials had to be finalised the day of, and the day after, the High Court's decision.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson scoffed at the idea that Ms Lamb was preparing for a federal election.

Senator Hanson said that it was clear Ms Lamb was worried she was a dual ­citizen, despite telling voters she had taken all reasonable steps to renounce her British citizenship.

"Coincidence? I think not and the voters of Longman will see through that statement,'' Senator Hanson said.

"The people of Longman have been forced to act as the court of public opinion this Saturday after Susan Lamb not only broke Section 44 of the Australian Constitution.

"I don't think the people of Longman want her back.

"Bill Shorten misled the public about Susan Lamb's citizenship status and that's as plain as day."

A spokesman for Ms Lamb said the FEC letter was for a federal election: "It specifically says so in the very first sentence. Similar letters were sent out in other FECs - our campaigns get ready with plenty of time before a federal election, this is part of the normal planning process."