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Australia Labor demands apology, Young LNP trio suspened over 'racist' video

01:50  04 december  2019
01:50  04 december  2019 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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Three Gold Coast Young LNP members are suspended, but Queensland's first female Indigenous MP believes the party's response was not good enough and demanded a full apology on Wednesday.

GCYLNP chair Barclay McGain, vice-chair Patrick Riches and young LNP supporter Jake Scott had their membership suspended on Tuesday afternoon, pending an LNP Disputes Committee inquiry.

The social media backlash also continues on multiple fronts after the "racist", staged schoolies video was posted on Monday, before being quickly deleted along with the GCYLNP Facebook page.

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The video features Mr McGain and Mr Riches in Surfers Paradise asking school-leavers "what matters to them and where the future of our great country is going".

One of the questions was: "The Australian national anthem and the Australian national flag, what do you reckon? Is it something that you like? Keep it or ditch it?"

In the video, one "schoolie" responds: "Well, there’s not too much to say about it. Personally, I’m fed up with having all of these sports stars stand out on our stages and not sing the national anthem.

"They’re putting our Australian jumper on, they’re going to sing the anthem.

"I mean, we’ve got to stop celebrating a culture [referring to Indigenous people] that couldn’t even invent the bloody wheel, for God's sake. We’ve got to start enjoying and living in Western culture."

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The "schoolie" was young LNP supporter Jake Scott, who has posted pictures with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and of himself as a campaign supporter for Petrie MP Luke Howarth.

Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington would not apologise for the trio's behaviour on Tuesday and instead responded with the same answer to a barrage of questions from reporters.

"It is inappropriate and the party is taking action," the state opposition leader said.

Queensland's first female Indigenous MP, Leeanne Enoch, who described the video as "racist" on Tuesday, issued another statement on Wednesday and echoed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's demands for Ms Frecklington to apologise.

a person standing posing for the camera: Suspended Gold Coast Young LNP chair Barclay McGain and suspended vice-chair Patrick Riches.© Facebook Suspended Gold Coast Young LNP chair Barclay McGain and suspended vice-chair Patrick Riches.

"She might be Campbell Newman’s apprentice, but her party offended Australia’s First Nations peoples, and that deserves an unreserved apology," Ms Enoch said.

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"She needs to have the personal conviction to apologise on behalf of the party she leads."

When Brisbane Times contacted Mr McGain for comment on Tuesday, he did not apologise for the video or to First Nations people and vowed to restart the deleted GCYLNP Facebook page.

Deb Frecklington MP et al. smiling and posing for the camera: Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington with suspended Gold Coast Young LNP chair Barclay McGain.© Queensland Labor - Twitter Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington with suspended Gold Coast Young LNP chair Barclay McGain.

"I'm just a 19-year-old going about my life ... on to the next thing," he said when asked whether he wanted to explain the video or if he wanted to respond to the criticism it attracted.

Mr McGain was also a keen Donald Trump impersonator and had his own YouTube channel, until it was deleted overnight.

However, in one video posted in 2018, Mr McGain impersonated the US President at the Great Wall of China.

"This is not the greatest wall but it's a great wall ... We're going to build the greatest wall. It is going to be to keep out the Mexicans, not the Mongolians, or the chikedy chongs, not Genghis Khan bing bong, bing bong," he said in the video.

Hundreds of comments have also been posted on Mr McGain's personal Facebook account since the video was posted online on Monday night, criticising his behaviour in the footage.

Mr McGain had also put himself forward to become a UQ student union councillor in October, but multiple student union factions posted on social media on Tuesday calling for him to resign.

In a statement on Tuesday, the LNP said the viral video "contained material that does not reflect the values and beliefs of the party".

"The post was removed and the members involved will be subject to the LNP’s internal disciplinary process. All LNP members are expected to uphold the values of the party at all times," it said.

"The Liberal National Party, as well as its predecessor parties, have proudly embraced the history and culture of indigenous Australians, and advanced, more than any other party, indigenous representation in the Australian Parliament."

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