News & Current Affairs
28 January 2015
by Amy Remeikis
QLD Election 2015: George Christensen posts cartoon of naked Annastacia Palaszczuk
Wrecking ball cartoon stirs controversy
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has distanced himself from a crude cartoon featuring Queensland Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk that appeared on a federal politician's Facebook page.
Dawson Coalition MP George Christensen, who is no stranger to creating social media outrage, made a quick foray into the Queensland election campaign on Tuesday, but then just as quickly jumped out.
Mr Christensen posted on his Facebook page a cartoon of Ms Palaszczuk naked on a wrecking ball, crashing into a wall representing jobs at the controversial Abbot Point Coal Terminal, with Greens leader Christine Milne cheering in the background.
The words "with apologies to Miley Cyrus" appear in the corner of the cartoon, a reference to the performer's Wrecking Ball film clip. The post, which directed people to his website, was later removed.
The federal MP says he is making no apologies. In fact, he's hit out at his critics. "It's pretty pathetic to fake outrage at a joke just to score political points," Mr Christensen wrote on his official Facebook page on Wednesday morning. "It's also unAustralian given taking the Mickey (especially out of politicians) has always been a strong part of our national culture. "I just wish we would lighten [up] and have a laugh sometimes. I fear as a nation we are losing our sense of humour to political correctness."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Parliament with George Christensen last year.
Mr Christensen's media spokesman Dave Westman said the Member for Dawson would not be making further comment and was busy meeting constituents on Wednesday morning.
Mr Newman, who has spoken out against personal attacks in the past, said Mr Christensen's post had "nothing to do with me".
"He must answer to his team," Mr Newman said on Tuesday. "I think when people get into personal stuff it's always disappointing but again the point we're making in this campaign is let's just get away from personalities and attacks on individuals."
A spokesman for Ms Palaszczuk said the cartoon "reflects the low standards Mr Christensen's state colleagues have displayed in this campaign".
Last weekend, Mr Newman alleged Labor had received money from criminal motorcycle gangs, later telling reporters he had no evidence of the claim, but it was up to the "Labor Party to demonstrate that what I have said is not the case".
When pressed for evidence, he told reporters to "Google it".
He also defended an email sent out by the party to LNP supporters headlined "don't wake up with regrets" with a photo of Ms Palaszczuk, denying it had any connotation other than warning voters of a hung parliament, with the Opposition Leader as Premier.
"I don't see, I don't quite see, I don't quite see how that compares to anything you've seen on previous campaigns," he said in Toowoomba on Saturday.
"It's important that people don't wake up with regrets because if they vote for Labor or the independents or the minor parties, they'll end up with a hung parliament, they'll see chaos, job destruction."
Queensland Senator Larissa Waters said she was appalled that Mr Christensen had posted the image.
"Sexism and archaic views on gender are not laughing matters – they're alarming insights into the views held by members of the LNP," she said.
The Queensland election will be held in three days.