A smackdown for Xenophon hopeful
NICK Xenophon has promised an urgent review of his party’s vetting processes after he was forced to sack a candidate and review the Facebook page of another just one day after announcing their candidacy.
SA Best candidate Rhys Adams has been sacked over a 2015 Facebook post, less than 24 hours after he announced he would run in the seat of Finniss in the state election next March.
Senator Xenophon told the Sunday Mail he terminated Mr Adams’s candidacy as soon as he was made aware of the post, which appears to show him holding his fist to the face of a wax model of pop star Rihanna.
The image, taken at Madame Tussauds in Sydney, was captioned “It’s Chris baby”.
Rihanna was physically assaulted by her boyfriend, pop star Chris Brown.
“I spoke to Rhys and said it isn’t acceptable. He is no longer a candidate. Domestic violence is a serious issue that cannot be made fun of,” Senator Xenophon said.
He said a post from Hammond candidate Kelly Gladigau, which accused AFL player Adam Goodes of being “soft” for his reaction to being called an ape by a 13-year-old girl, was not made by her and he denied the post was racist.
The 2013 post, from an account Ms Gladigau shares with her husband Travis, read: Seriously ... don’t you think it’s rather soft to be upset that a young girl called you a APE??? Perhaps if you didn’t look like one! Also aren’t we all descendants of the APE ???? Just saying!!”
Senator Xenophon was unaware of the post until contacted by the Sunday Mail, but said Ms Gladigau did not make “footy posts” on the account and the comment had been made by her husband.
“I think this is a discussion about whether a 13-year-old girl meant to be racist and this was a national discussion at the time,” he said.
“Both Kelly and her husband have close links with the indigenous community and they don’t have any racist views.”
The post was taken down from the Facebook page within hours of Senator Xenophon and Ms Gladigau being contacted by the Sunday Mail.
Senator Xenophon said he wanted to find out why Mr Adams’s post had not come up during his party’s vetting process. “Absolutely there will be a review (of the vetting process),” he said. “I will pursue this as a matter of urgency.
“The vetting process is sound but this was a social media post that should not have been missed, it was missed and it was dealt with as soon as possible.”
Mr Adams’s sacking comes just one day after Senator Xenophon said he would deliver a better candidate-vetting process this time around, conceding he had not applied sufficient rigour when selecting candidates in the past.
Mr Adams could not be contacted for comment.
HANDS ON: Sacked candidate Rhys Adams’s posts featuring wax models of Rihanna and Toni Collette. BOTTOM: A Facebook post from an account shared by candidate Kelly Gladigau and her husband.