Senate push to strip Arndt of OAM after Hannah Clarke row
Labor frontbenchers Penny Wong and Kristina Keneally are demanding men's rights activist Bettina Arndt be stripped of her Order of Australia.
The opposition senators will move a motion on Tuesday condemning Ms Arndt's "reckless and abhorrent" comments about the recent murders of Queensland woman Hannah Clarke and her three children.
Congratulations to the Queensland police for keeping an open mind and awaiting proper evidence, including the possibility that Rowan Baxter might have been “driven too far.” But note the misplaced outrage. How dare police deviate from the feminist script of seeking excuses...— Bettina Arndt (@thebettinaarndt) February 20, 2020
"The values that underpin Ms Arndt's views on this horrific family violence incident are not consistent with her retaining her Order of Australia," the senators said in their motion.
Senator Keneally urged her upper house colleagues to "stand firm" and make it clear there was no excuse for family violence.
"There is no excuse for what happened to Hannah Clarke and her three children, it was a murder plain and simple, but there is nothing plain and simple about the tragedy that is domestic violence," she told reporters.
"And there is nothing plain and simple about using your position with an Order of Australia to spread comments that could be seen to be inciting violence, that seem to be condoning violence."
Liberal senators Sarah Henderson and Hollie Hughes have also spoken out against Ms Arndt's comments.
Ms Arndt drew scrutiny last week after tweeting "Congratulations to the Queensland police for keeping an open mind and awaiting proper evidence, including the possibility that Rowan Baxter might have been 'driven too far'."
Governor-General David Hurley has forwarded complaints about her Order of Australia to the body that manages the awards.
It comes as Federal Labor MP Anne Aly opened up about her experience of domestic violence and is pushing for more action on the issue.
She wrote the personal column in the West Australian on Tuesday, a day after parliament reflected on the murder of Hannah Clarke and her three children.
Dr Aly said it had been difficult for her to talk about the murders carried out by Ms Clarke's estranged husband Rowan Baxter in Brisbane last week, as she was a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of her former spouse and father of her children.
"I have known men like that. Men who see their partners and their children as their possessions and nothing more," she wrote.
"Abusers who explode with rage when their power is taken away and they can no longer control their partners."
The MP said she had followed "age-old" advice passed down on how woman should deal with such violence.
"Advice that warned me not to be rash and that cautioned me that leaving my husband and provider would make me destitute - not to mention unattractive and alone," she said.
"I've been patient. I've stayed. I've nursed my bruises and I've hidden my pain. And I've stayed silent.
"For a long time I stayed silent. But no more."
Dr Aly said no amount of talking would stop domestic violence.
She said Australia needed a national campaign to reach into every home with the clear message such violence was a criminal offence and would not be tolerated.
Dr Aly said women who wanted to leave violent relationships also needed support, including safe housing.
"Despite all the pain and abuse I suffered, leaving the father of my children was the hardest decision I have ever made," she said.
"Until we start taking action on domestic violence, nothing will change.
"Words and gestures in parliament are nice but they don't solve problems or create the urgent change needed to help women today."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said countering domestic violence was a priority for his government every day.
The federal government continues to implement the fourth national domestic violence action plan and the issue will be raised at a COAG meeting in a few weeks time.
"This issue doesn't know politics. It just knows that there is hurt and pain and tragedy and devastation to families and every day addressing that is a priority for me and my government," he told reporters.
If you or you know of somebody in need of help, due to problems at home, phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) Lifeline 13 11 14.
...and explanations when women stab their partners to death, or drive their children into dams but immediately judging a man in these circumstances as simply representing the evil violence that is in all men. https://t.co/gCMCn1kma1— Bettina Arndt (@thebettinaarndt) February 20, 2020