Anthony Albanese wants John Setka expelled over Rosie Batty remarks

Anthony Albanese wants John Setka expelled from the Labor party over Rosie Batty remarks

It is inexplicable to consider Rosie Batty a target for vitriolic abuse and yet she has been. On far too many occasions.

Since the tragic and senseless murder of her beloved son Luke, she has worked tirelessly to campaign against domestic violence and champion policy change and reform.

The former Australian of the Year did not ‘choose’ the limelight or a public platform and if she were given a choice between enduring what she did and thus being elevated to public prominence, or not losing her son and being able to continue a private existence, it isn’t hard to image what she’d pick in a heartbeat.

Tragically, however, as she knows better than anyone else that choice is moot. Nothing will ever bring her son back and because of that she chose to make his legacy, her work in this space. To try and spare other families the tragedy she faced.

On more than one occasion the price she has paid for that involves being on the receiving end of variously abusive or derogatory comments from men in high profile positions.

Mark Latham was famously asked – albeit belatedly – to resign from his position as a columnist at the Financial Review after writing a column inexplicably attacking Rosie Batty.

The latest is the CFMEU boss John Setka, who has been making news because of the criminal charges he’s facing regarding the harassment of a woman. He reportedly told a union meeting recently that men have fewer rights as a result of Rosie Batty.

Coming from a man who reportedly on a single evening last October, called a woman 25 times and sent her 45 text messages, calling her a “weak f—en piece of shit” and a “treacherous Aussie f—en c—” and a “f—en dog”, it is scary to consider what additional rights he would like men to enjoy.

After mounting pressure on him to apologise and resign, on Tuesday the Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced he would seek to have Steka expelled from the party.

“I have written to the secretary of the Labor party, Noah Carroll, advising him that at the next meeting of the national executive I will move for John Setka’s expulsion from the Australian Labor Party,” Mr Albanese said on Tuesday. “I don’t want him in our party. It’s that simple.”

Penny Wong, Daniel Andrews and Doug Cameron are among the Labor politicians who had called on him to resign before Albanese’s intervention.

“I want to say to Rosie Batty, I’m on your side,” Wong said. “I thought his comments about Ms Batty were completely inappropriate. They are not in step with the values of the broader labour movement or the Labor party.”

Anthony Albanese wrote: “My action is based on a range of actions by Mr Setka, including his recent disparaging comments about family violence campaigner Rosie Batty… The party I lead stands against the scourge of family violence and strongly supports Ms Batty’s campaigning…”

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