Cansdell hits out at ?disgraceful? Donnelly

By ADRIAN MILLER

amiller@dailyexaminer.com.au

CLARENCE MP Steve Cansdell has labelled Labor MLC Greg Donnelly a 'disgrace' for comments he made towards female Coalition MPs in State Parliament.

Mr Donnelly, the duty MLC for Clarence, was debating the future of the trade union movement in the NSW Upper House on April 6 when he said: "(There will be) scalpels taken to the throats of members of the Liberal Party and The Nationals, particularly the female members of those parties who have failed to stand up and defend the rights of working women. Women in the work force will come under cover of darkness when everyone is asleep, and they will cut the throats of members of the Coalition from ear to ear and that will be the end of it."

Mr Donnelly also made a slicing gesture with his finger across his throat as he made the remarks.

He was responding to comments made by Liberal Party MLC Greg Pearce, who said baseball bats would be taken to the trade union movement.

Mr Cansdell said the remarks were vicious.

"This man is a disgrace to the Parliament and should resign because he doesn't represent the views of wider Australia in condemning violence, especially against women," he said.

"I am disgusted."

Coalition members were outraged by the comments, with female MPs boycotting a joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Donnelly apologised for the remarks in Parliament on Wednesday night.

Mr Donnelly said while he was baited by Mr Pearce, he agreed his behaviour was unacceptable.

"I apologise for any offence caused by remarks I made in the Legislative Council on April 6 during debate on the Australian trade union movement," he said.

"I apologise to those who have taken offence and I accept that there is no place in the Parliament for this conduct."

Mr Cansdell said while he accepted the apology, Mr Donnelly should be punished further.

"I think the guy should be censured for making the statement in the first place," he said.

"Look what happened to Andrew Fraser ... for what he did, and it was nothing compared to the viciousness (of Donnelly's remarks). This is really inciting violence against women."



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