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Australian Politics

Right-wing One Nation party dumps Queensland candidate after anti-gay Facebook posts

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 January, 2017, 2:34pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 January, 2017, 9:04pm

Dumped One Nation candidate Shan Ju Lin has hit out at the party’s hierarchy over her disendorsement as a candidate in the wake of inflammatory statements she made on social media.

The speed of the disendorsement decision – without any chance to defend myself – has also been remarkable
Shan Ju Lin

Just last month, Ms Lin was unveiled as One Nation’s candidate for the Ipswich-based seat of Bundamba, currently held by ex-Labor minister Jo-Ann Miller, at the upcoming Queensland state election. But One Nation leader Pauline Hanson moved to have Ms Lin dumped from the party’s ticket following the candidate’s comment that gay people “should be treated as patients”.

It was among a series of anti-LGBTI posts the ex-candidate made on Ms Lin’s publicly viewable Facebook page. Ms Lin, who was on an overseas holiday, did not respond to Fairfax Media’s emailed questions, but posted a statement instead to her Facebook page.

Ms Lin said the party’s decision had caught her by surprise.

“One Nation has no policy to be adhered to on this issue except for that of a referendum on gay marriage whereby the community would have its say,” she said. “The speed of the disendorsement decision – without any chance to defend myself – has also been remarkable.

“At no time have I been able to speak directly with Pauline Hanson and therefore I have not had the ability to check what has been related to her about the matter.

“All candidates are only able to contact her via her chief of staff, Mr James Ashby, who then replies back on her behalf.”

Despite her rejection by the party, Ms Lin said she would remain a committed supporter.

“My wholehearted support for Pauline Hanson remains, and I look forward to the internal issues within One Nation being finally resolved for good,” she said.

Senator Hanson did not show the same goodwill towards her party’s former Bundamba candidate.

“I will not stand by and allow people to trash the party or my name, so I make no apologies for being tough on candidates,” she said.

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The furore prompted Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale to warn his council’s sponsorship of next month’s Harmony Day festival could be pulled if Ms Lin remained president of the organising committee.

“I can tell you I’m not pleased that someone who pretends to create world harmony - and the event itself is fantastic - would act in this way,” Councillor Pisasale told Fairfax Media.

“Myself, as the mayor, will lead a full discussion with the committee to make sure the committee’s views are not the same as this rogue candidate.”

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Ms Lin said she was confident the festival would be held, as planned, next month in Springfield Central. “The Harmony Day festival is non-political and will go ahead as planned,” she said.

“The committee will discuss this directly with mayor Pisasale.”

Fairfax Media asked Ms Lin whether she would step down from her role on the festival’s organising committee. That question that remained unanswered.