For­mer Na­tion­als can­di­date in hot wa­ter fol­low­ing site rally

Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Rick Koenig rick.koenig@tweed­dai­

FED­ERAL Rich­mond MP Jus­tine El­liot has taken le­gal ac­tion against a for­mer Na­tion­als can­di­date who re­ferred to pro­test­ers at a hos­pi­tal site rally as “the great un­washed”.

In a video posted on Face­book last Fri­day, for­mer Na­tional’s can­di­date for Rich­mond Matthew Fraser said he came across the protest out­side Tweed MPS Ge­off Provest’s of­fice while do­ing his “daily du­ties of ac­tu­ally work­ing for a liv­ing”.

In a piece to cam­era, Mr Fraser ac­cused Mrs El­liot of be­ing un­der a “huge cloud of cor­rup­tion” and for or­gan­is­ing the protest to “di­vert at­ten­tion away from that”.

“It looks like she’s bussed in all of the great un­washed to come and stand out the front protest­ing against the hos­pi­tal,” he said.

“In Jus­tine El­liot’s des­per­a­tion, to­gether with her Tweed La­bor mafia, she has a huge cloud of cor­rup­tion over her at the mo­ment and she’s try­ing to di­vert at­ten­tion away from that.”

Mr Fraser, who has twice run against Mrs El­liot for the seat of Rich­mond and lost, told the Tweed Daily News he re­gret­ted call­ing the pro­test­ers “the great un­washed”, which is con­sid­ered an elit­ist and deroga­tory term used for a mass of or­di­nary peo­ple “politi­cians need not an­swer”.

“My com­ments in re­la­tion to the pro­test­ers was a gen­er­al­i­sa­tion and I was wrong,” he said.

“There were many good com­mu­nity peo­ple at the rally, some of whom are peo­ple I know.”

But Mr Fraser, who is again run­ning for pre-se­lec­tion with the Na­tion­als, did not back down on his claims against Mrs El­liot, de­spite le­gal ac­tion be­ing taken against him.

“My con­cern is that Jus­tine El­liot is ma­nip­u­lat­ing good peo­ple as pawns in her own per­sonal po­lit­i­cal game,” he said.

“Jus­tine El­liot’s le­gal ac­tion is clearly a tac­tic to try and sti­fle de­bate on po­lit­i­cal is­sues of com­mu­nity con­cern.”

Mr Fraser also ac­cused Mrs El­liot of us­ing her staff mem­ber and Tweed Shire Coun­cil­lor, Reece Byrnes, to ap­prove a wa­ter min­ing op­er­a­tion in Uki owned by for­mer La­bor MP Jack Hal­lam.

But Mrs El­liot told the

Tweed Daily News “all of the al­le­ga­tions made by Matthew Fraser against me are lies”.

“The fact is Matthew Fraser is un­fit for pub­lic of­fice af­ter call­ing mem­bers of our com­mu­nity ‘the great un­washed’,” she said.

“I have com­menced le­gal ac­tion in is­su­ing cease and de­sist let­ters to Matthew Fraser de­mand­ing that he stop pub­lish­ing state­ments which are un­true, base­less and defam­a­tory.

“I’ve de­manded an im­me­di­ate and per­ma­nent ces­sa­tion of all these defam­a­tory state­ments.”

PRES­SURE: For­mer Na­tion­als can­di­date for Rich­mond Matthew Fraser.

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