People around Australia have taken to social media to complain after many received unsolicited texts from the man himself, Clive Palmer. Or, more specifically, Clive Palmer’s political party.
Throughout the day, people of voting age across the country have received text messages from Clive and the United Australia Party.
Some of the texts are location-dependent, mentioning fast trains for Melbourne and Sydney, or taxation in Tasmania.
Others are more generic, with messages about blackouts wrecking lives.
Many of the messages included his new favourite catchphrase, ‘Make Australia Great’, which you may have been lucky enough to see on billboards around your city recently.
This is all part of Clive’s attempt at reviving his political career after it fizzled out in 2016, but I’m not sure texting people who didn’t ask to receive correspondence from you or your party is the way to generate support.
Unfortunately, it’s completely legal. As the ABC explains, political parties and their contractors are exempt from privacy laws, which means they can use the personal information of Australians without getting permission.
The Law Reform Commission recommended the exemption be removed ten years ago, but that never happened, so here we are.
Another unfortunate thing is that being on the Do Not Call register won’t help. According to an Australian Communications and Media Authority spokesperson that the ABC spoke to, non-commercial texts were generally allowed under the Do Not Call Register Act and the Spam Act.
Good old Clive, sabotaging his own political comeback before it’s even really begun. Who could ask for anything more?