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05 November 2014

Kevin Andrews slammed by NT politician for comments on de factos

The Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews at a press conference.

Federal families minister called a ‘pooncy, pasty faced person from some pissant place’ for claiming married couples stay together longer than unmarried couples

The Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly has objected to comments by the federal families minister, Kevin Andrews, that de facto couples should get married, labelling him a “pooncy, pasty faced person from some pissant place that no one cares about”.

Kezia Purick, the Country Liberal party (CLP) member for Goyder, posted her comments on Facebook on Tuesday night.

“Righto, Kevin Andrews, politician from down south and who was instrumental in overturning Territory laws for rights for the terminally ill, now is saying married couples stay together better and longer than de facto couples,” Purick began.

“Listen here you pooncy, pasty faced person from some pissant place that no one cares about, half my electorate are probably in de facto relationships and they are happy, normal living people who do their very best for their families and their communities. They work hard, try their best and believe that you judge people by their deeds not some piece of paper. I have the same support for people who are married or want to get married in the eyes of a church or the law, that is their choice and I respect it.”

Andrews has urged people in de facto relationships to get married if they wanted to strengthen their relationship and protect children.

The minister claimed data showed that de facto couples were more likely to be unstable, and that it it became a matter for government and the community due to the high cost of family breakdown.

“Look, people can enter into whatever relationship they want. That’s a matter for them,’’ Andrews told News Corp.

“But ... it becomes a question for the government and the community when relationships break up.

“The people who suffer the most out of relationships breaking up are kids.”

He suggested that many couples “drift along” into a relationship, and that that unless a couple got married, each partner might have different ideas about the relationship.

“One thing about a marriage is that it publicly denotes commitment on the part of both parties,” he said.

“Whereas in an informal relationship one party may be committed and one may not be.”

A department of social services report from 2005 found some evidence that since the mid-1970s de facto couples who lived together were more likely than married couples to break up within five years, but there was no difference between couples with and without children.

Purick rejected Andrews’s comments, telling him: “If you ever come to the rural area and try to tell us how to live, three words for you, green rubber ring!”

The green rubber ring is a device used for the castration of young bulls.