CANBERRA Liberals leader Alistair Coe has secured the resignation of newly minted candidate Peter McKay after Mr McKay was exposed for making controversial comments in 2018.
Mr McKay found himself in hot water today (August 11) after “ABC Canberra” reported that Mr McKay, in a 2018 federal inquiry into religious freedoms, described indigenous welcome to country ceremonies as “animistic practices… to be condemned” and ACT Policing as a force influenced by a homosexual agenda.
“Earlier today I sought Mr McKay’s resignation as a candidate which has since been tendered and accepted,” Mr Coe said.
Mr Coe said the comments do not align with the standard he “expects” of the Canberra Liberals team.
“This prompt and decisive action underscores the seriousness in which I have taken this matter,” he said.
Mr McKay was only announced as the latest Liberal Party candidate for the inner-city seat of Kurrajong in the upcoming ACT election on Sunday.
Former ACT health minister and “CityNews” columnist Michael Moore says the controversy could “severely destroy” the Canberra Liberals election chances.
Mr Moore, an ex-Independent ACT Assembly member, said Mr McKay’s views could “derail” the party’s campaign. He says Liberal Leader Alistair Coe has some serious questions to answer.
“These are extreme views, this is even more conservative than some of their members,” he said.
Months out from the October territory election, Moore says this is a major distraction for the Canberra Liberals.
“Their main issues should be the territory finances, the complacency of Labor and how they are going to ensure that they look after the traditional areas that Labor has looked after,” he said.
Mr McKay, a former army officer and public servant entered the contest as a replacement for dumped candidate Vijay Dubey. Mr McKay ran for the Liberals in Kurrajong at the 2016 election, winning 2.6 per cent of the vote.
In a submission to the federal government’s religious freedom’s review in 2018, known as the “Ruddock Review” Mr McKay wrote that the welcome to country ceremony “does not accord with Aboriginal practice”, and that government’s adoption of such practices should be condemned.
He also claimed the influence of the ACT’s “homosexual chief minister” and “strong lesbian influence inside ACT Policing” was the reason authorities dismissed the suggestion that an explosion outside the Australian Christian Lobby’s offices was a religion-based attack.