Tasmanians have been heading to the polls on Saturday for a state election where the campaign has been littered with bizarre moments for many candidates.
Liberal candidate Adam Brooks, of the north-western seat of Braddon, is fending off allegations he created a fake profile to catfish a woman into a months-long online relationship on a dating app.
The ABC reported on Friday that Victorian authorities are investigating claims Mr Brooks created a fake driver’s licence with the name Terry Brooks, an alias he was allegedly using to pretend to be a Melbourne-based engineer named Terry.
A woman claimed to the broadcaster that she had exchanged messages with the politician from June 2019 to March 2020 after connecting on OkCupid.
She claimed they met in person in Sydney four times — with Mr Brooks allegedly pretending to be Terry the whole time.
He denies the fake profiles are his and Liberal Premier Peter Gutwein has stood by him as a candidate.
Meanwhile, the Premier created a stir earlier in the campaign by revealing he had a bicep tattoo of a black panther when receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Mr Gutwein took to TikTok to explain that he got the ink in his youth to commemorate his first martial arts black belt.
Labor leader Rebecca White had her own viral moment when she clapped back to a tweet from ABC election analyst Antony Green, who said her pregnancy, and due date close to the election date, could complicate Labor’s campaign.
“I’m not sure why?” she replied.
“Plenty of pregnant women continue to work. I’m no different and I can assure everyone that as far as I’m concerned it’s game on!”
Her snappy response prompted a flood of approving commentary on social media, with more than 750 retweets and 4500 likes.
Independent candidate Sue Hickey used her parliamentary privilege in March the year to slam Tasmanian federal politician Eric Abetz, claiming he had “slut-shamed” Brittany Higgins — the woman who helped ignite a national movement after she bravely went public with an allegation she had been raped inside Parliament House.
Ms Hickey was formerly a Liberal Party member but made her statements shortly after announcing she would run in the 2021 election as an independent, after the Premier told her she wouldn’t be re-endorsed by the party.
Mr Abetz categorically denies making the comments and hit back that Ms Hickey’s timing was suspect.
Ms Hickey alleged he said: “As for that Higgins girl, anybody so disgustingly drunk who would sleep with anybody could have slept with one of our spies and put the security of the nation at risk.
Ms Hickey said she “accepted” they were “deeply held views by the senator”.
“However they are not endorsed by our wider community, who view this judgment as slut-shaming,” she said.
“My immediate thoughts were — what if this girl’s drink had been spiked?
“And even if she was drunk, wouldn’t a caring man make sure she got home safely?
“No one, no matter how drunk or what they wear or where they walk at night, deserves to be sexually assaulted.”
Polls close in Tasmania at 6pm with counting to begin from then.
The incumbent Liberal Party has campaigned on its performance leading the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, where it’s strict border policies were popular with locals.
Labor, meanwhile, has pitched promises on education and health to voters.
The Greens, lead by Cassy O’Connor, have campaigned on house prices, protecting nature, and more government transparency.