It is inexplicable to consider Rosie Batty a target for vitriolic abuse and yet she has been. On far too many occasions.
Pressure on Setka over Rosie Batty comments https://t.co/LWQaun00VO
— Michael Flood (@MichaelGLFlood) June 8, 2019
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.
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.
Hi @DaveNoonanCFMEU. You are the bloke in charge. Please fix your John Setka problem. His behaviour gives your members the example that it's ok to treat women disrespectfully. It's not. Please do the right thing. Also, an apology to Rosie Batty would be a good idea. Thanks. pic.twitter.com/ND84LxALHx
— Jenna Price (@JennaPrice) June 9, 2019
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.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese is moving to expel union boss John Setka from the Labor party following his controversial comments about Rosie Batty.
— Brihony Speed (@brihonyspeed) June 11, 2019
“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…”