ELECTION day volunteers for the Palmer United Party (PUP) are believed to have been paid as much as $20 an hour to hand out how-to-vote cards at polling stations around the south-west.
Wannon MP Dan Tehan and other candidates have told The Standard they believe workers from a labour hire company were recruited to staff polling booths around the electorate.
The fledgling party managed to attract close to 3000 votes across Wannon for elusive candidate Bradley Ferguson, despite the Queenslander never setting foot in the electorate.
While Mr Ferguson failed to materialise during the campaign, PUP representatives manned booths across Wannon on election day, with speculation that they had been paid to be there.
“I heard that some of them had been sourced from a labour hire company and they were getting $20 an hour to hand out how-to-vote cards,” Mr Tehan said. “Visiting booths across the electorate that was the talk amongst the people.”
The Liberals, Labor and The Greens all relied on volunteers.
A public relations group representing PUP did not respond to enquiries.
Other media have also reported that backpackers had been hired in some electorates to distribute the voting cards.