Mal Brough accused of racism
MAL Brough has been slammed for his "redneck tendencies" and has been accused of racism following his comments about Australia's leading indigenous affairs newspaper.
Some have called for the newly endorsed candidate for Fisher's resignation from the LNP and investigation by the Human Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission.
The Daily was contacted by journalist Gerry Georgatos, who was with a group of 10 elders in Perth, including activists Marianne Mackay and Maureen Culbong.
They were furious at Mr Brough's comment, reported in The Daily on Monday, that the National Indigenous Times was a "rag run out of a basement in Canberra".
Mr Brough had been responding to quotes, reported in the National Indigenous Times, by 30 indigenous leaders who were angry at his preselection.
Mr Brough told The Daily he did not believe they represented the views of indigenous people.
He stood by these comments yesterday.
National Indigenous Times editor Stephen Hagan sent The Daily a statement saying Mr Brough was displaying "redneck tendencies by rejecting the comments of the 30 highly regarded and respected indigenous leaders".
He said Mr Brough's remark that the leaders did not represent the views of indigenous Australia was patently wrong and it was disrespectful for him to comment that way.
He rejected the suggestion that the newspaper was run out of a basement in Canberra.
"The National Indigenous Times operates from registered business premises in Canberra and has done so for more than 10 years," Mr Hagan said.
Mr Georgatos, who is also a PHD researcher in racism, said the subject had gone viral across the country as it had offended a lot of people.
He said Mr Brough should have known better.
"The language used by a person of the stature of Mal Brough who has entertained a ministerial portfolio in Indigenous Affairs - his use of language is indicative of racism and of discrimination and is utterly inexcusable," he said.
"He shouldn't be representing any person in parliament."
Mr Georgatos said he would complain to the LNP as well as the Human Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission and had invited Mr Brough to a debate in the electorate of Fisher.
Ms Mackay said she was disgusted with Mr Brough and called for his immediate resignation.
She said the majority of the 30 Aboriginal figures, many of them elders, were well known, many highly qualified with an academic background and stature.
She said the National Indigenous Times - the only newspaper to focus on indigenous issues - represented the voice of the people.
"That's our people in that newspaper. The comments against the National Indigenous Times are comments against all of us involved in the process," Ms Mackay said.
Mr Brough said he had no plans to retract his statements and they were of "no concern".
"The National Indigenous Times is not reflective whatsoever of Australians, let alone indigenous Australians," he said.