UPDATED: Coe dumps Liberal candidate for criticising acknowledgement of country, homosexual police “bias”

Dominic Giannini 11 August 2020 46
Liberal candidate Peter McKay

Peter McKay described Indigenous acknowledgment of country as “animistic religions” in a 2018 submission. Photo: Supplied.

UPDATED 2:00 pm, 11 August: The newly endorsed Liberal candidate for Kurrajong Peter McKay has quit the race after his comments about Indigenous acknowledgement of country and a homosexual “bias” in ACT Policing were made public today.

Liberal leader Alistair Coe has issued a statement saying the comments do not accord with the standard that he expects of the Liberal team.

”Accordingly, earlier today I sought Mr McKay’s resignation as a candidate which has since been tendered and accepted,” he said.

”My vision of ensuring Canberra is the best place to live, work and raise a family, includes ensuring Canberra is inclusive of all people, regardless of their culture, ethnicity, faith, gender or sexuality.

”This prompt and decisive action underscores the seriousness in which I have taken this matter.”

But Mr Coe did not answer questions about whether the Party was aware of Mr McKay’s comments when he was preselected or its vetting process for selecting candidates.

Mr McKay made the comments in a submission to the Religious Freedom Review in 2018.

The ACT’s openly gay Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, who also came under attack in the submission, said the comments were a sad reflection of the values of the Canberra Liberals, and would be alarming to most Canberrans.

”This is now mainstream opinion within the political party. Its very, very regrettable,” he said.

He called the Liberal Party in Canberra an ultra-conservative party, and said Mr McKay was not the only candidate who held these sorts of views.

Earlier today, it had been revealed that Mr McKay, whose pre-selection for Kurrajong was announced on Sunday, took aim at the Indigenous acknowledgement of country and a supposed homosexual “bias” in ACT Policing in the submission.

He is the second Liberal candidate to resign from the Kurrajong race. He replaced Vijay Dubey, who resigned last month after falling out with the party. Mr McKay was a Liberal candidate in Kurrajong at the 2016 election, taking 2.6 per cent of the vote.

His comments appear to be at odds with the Liberal Party’s stated support for delivering the Acknowledgement of Country in Ngunnawal.

“The government’s adoption of animistic religious practices is to be condemned. The welcome to country ceremony does not accord with aboriginal practice and is a misrepresentation,” Mr McKay wrote in his 2200-word submission.

“The last one I attended included the acknowledgement and worship of aboriginal ancestors. This is similar to a number of animistic religions around the world.

“These religions did not result in the benefits of development that emanates [sic] from western civilisation (ie founded on the precents [sic] of the Christian world view).”

Mr McKay also singled out Chief Minister Andrew Barr – Australia’s first openly gay head of government – when criticising how authorities handled an attack on the Australian Christian Lobby’s office in Deakin in December 2016.

“In the case of the ACT all same-sex advocates are not the same,” he wrote.

“The man that used six gas bottles to bomb a secluded Christian organisation in Canberra had worked as an advocate in the USA yet the within 24 hours of the attack the ACT Police influenced by the homosexual Chief Minister and the strong lesbian influence in the ACT Police (yes, I could provide some names) dismissed the attack on religious thought by describing the cause as a mental health issue,” he wrote.

“This was ‘false news’ and diminishes trust in our authorities.”

ACT police told media after the event that while the driver detonated gas cylinders in his van deliberately, their investigations strongly suggested that his motives were personal rather than politically, religiously or ideologically motivated.

But ACL head Lyle Shelton said at the time that the attack has been prompted by “extreme left” politicians whose rhetoric had motivated “unhinged” people to act violently.

The perpetrator took his own life in 2017 and a statement from the man’s lawyer after his death linked his suicide with mental health issues.

In his public submission, Mr McKay also likened restraints on religious freedoms to the rule of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.

“One would not wish to compare this government with Hitler however if the results of this review are cynically tokenistic without any real change, history will not be kind to the Turnbull government and the consequences not kind to the Australian people.”

While Mr McKay’s views were not presented to the enquiry on behalf of the Liberal Party, the Canberra branch has been criticised in the past for being too conservative compared to the ACT’s generally progressive voters.

During the same-sex marriage referendum, Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe was the only government or opposition leader in the country to declare their ‘no’ vote. The ACT recorded the highest ‘yes’ vote in Australia with 74 per cent.

The small size of the Liberal party in Canberra – with just a few hundred members – also allowed former opposition leader Zed Seselja, an ultra-conservative, to wrestle the 2013 senate pre-selection away from the more moderate former Chief Minister Gary Humphries.

Humphries and other moderates have since quit the Liberal party. Pre-selection voting in Brindabella for the upcoming election only attracted 34 votes.


What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
46 Responses to UPDATED: Coe dumps Liberal candidate for criticising acknowledgement of country, homosexual police “bias”
David Brown David Brown 4:05 pm 12 Aug 20

Will he still be a candidate?

Just not an endorsed Lib?

kate11 kate11 10:36 am 12 Aug 20

It’s like the ACT Liberals want to lose the next election

    Sol Sol 9:41 pm 16 Aug 20

    Of course they do. Opposition is easy money. How many policies have the Canberra Liberals developed in four years? Popping up for the occasional whinge is much easier than actually trying to be electable and governing.

    It’s all about Zeds safe senate seat.

    Does anyone know what he does???


Jim Rick Jim Rick 8:09 pm 11 Aug 20

What a shambles.

Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 7:47 pm 11 Aug 20

Is he in the running for the Mal award?

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:12 pm 11 Aug 20

It was fun hearing the local ABC reporting today “the ABC can reveal….” (what we read on the RiotAct yesterday) – clearly the ACT Liberals should sub-contract their candidate vetting process to this blog.

Sol Sol 6:02 pm 11 Aug 20

The Canberra Liberals are a hollowed out rump of petulant little brats and angry old men.

Stephen Spencer Stephen Spencer 5:31 pm 11 Aug 20

To lose one candidate through failed vetting may be regarded as misfortune. To lose both can be regarded as more like carelessness.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:06 pm 11 Aug 20

“Gay” bias is unacceptable but “homosexual” bias is something else.

Deborah Jane Deborah Jane 4:48 pm 11 Aug 20

That was quick

Jason Preston Jason Preston 4:43 pm 11 Aug 20

They wouldn't pre select me that's for sure.

Sad ain't it 😎😅🤣

Martin McMaster Martin McMaster 4:01 pm 11 Aug 20

Surely the party would ask him if there was anything public that might affect his candidacy? Surely the candidate would know that stuff like this would be quickly discovered?

Paul Willemsen Paul Willemsen 3:11 pm 11 Aug 20

The Canberra Liberals are unelectable rabble.

Acton Acton 3:09 pm 11 Aug 20

It is always bad for true democracy if there is no viable opposition. We end up with an entrenched party serving entrenched interests doing whatever it likes because it is unaccountable for its actions. The culprits for this state of affairs are a complacent electorate that fails to regularly refresh it’s own representatives with new blood, ideas and vigour. We get the government we deserve.

    Kim Kim 3:33 pm 11 Aug 20

    Refresh with new representatives? The last election saw 7 new candidates elected to Labor & 4 new candidates elected to the Libs.

    chewy14 chewy14 4:57 pm 11 Aug 20

    Thanks for showing that it’s not just an issue for the individuals and their length of tenure, the woeful performance is clearly more of a problem with the political parties themselves.

    Which is why people should shop around to other parties and candidates rather than simply voting for more of the same time and again.

    The parties are complacent because too many people are rusted on voters.

    JS9 JS9 9:09 pm 11 Aug 20

    I agree Acton – but I’m not sure what that has to do with this particular individual in question.

Kim Kim 2:50 pm 11 Aug 20

Just keep your head down Mark Parton

    Sol Sol 10:11 pm 11 Aug 20

    Mark Parton has excelled at retailing the world with his breakfasts and daily sunsets (and the Mark Parton Show) while demonstrating a complete disinterest in his actual job.

    He should go back to radio.

    Another irrelevant Lib dud.

paulmuster paulmuster 2:49 pm 11 Aug 20

Good idea getting rid of this bloke. He was obviously too far left for the Inner North!

ticktock2 ticktock2 2:47 pm 11 Aug 20

Good. Might improve their voter base – marginally.

Wayne Palmer Wayne Palmer 2:26 pm 11 Aug 20

The Libs appear to have an interesting vetting process for their candidates... 🤔

    Leigh Brady Leigh Brady 5:59 pm 11 Aug 20

    well if they’re all bigoted and homophobic it’s hard to pick these things up 😂

ssek ssek 2:15 pm 11 Aug 20

Speaking the truth gets you cancelled these days. Honk Honk.

    paulmuster paulmuster 2:51 pm 11 Aug 20

    Couldn’t agree more – Coe isn’t even in government and he is already enforcing cancel culture on us!

Jill Lee Bee Jill Lee Bee 2:12 pm 11 Aug 20

Lol the best they could offer

Justin Watson Justin Watson 2:00 pm 11 Aug 20

The thing is they are preselecting these people and wondering why they can't win in the ACT. Select some right leaning candidates with sensible views on social policies and the Liberals would romp the election in. But they want to push this far right religious conservative view of the world in the ACT and that is why they keep losing. If they put up some genuine candidates and not the far right nutters and a few positive policies with how they see Canberra devloping in the next decade and they'd be a chance. But they are rotten due to the far right element of the party controlling everything. Also because of our voting system, it stops them from sneaking these nutters in like they do federally.

    Nathan Fenech Nathan Fenech 3:46 pm 11 Aug 20

    You mean the same thin-skinned Mark Parton who has blocked me and others for daring to disagree with him? Who attempted to spin the LGBTQI roundabout in Braddon as proof that ACT Labor didn't care about other issues? Whose main selling point to electors is that Labor has been in power for 'too long' (no solutions or policies, just change for changes sake)?

    We aren't stupid ... We all know Parton is gearing up to challenge Alistair Coe after they lose the election. Why is he more insidious? Because he hides his real agenda behind trying to seem in touch with the people.

    The Canberra Liberals are one of the most conservative branches in the country: Canberra is a progressive city. With a mismatch like that, they're going to be in opposition for a good while longer.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site