Senator Mitch Fifield has condemned the appointment of Catherine Deveny as a Government Disability Ambassador in Senate Estimates today.
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Jan McLucas admitted during the hearings to being “troubled” by Ms Deveny’s appointment, but repeatedly refused to apologise on behalf of the Government or to criticise the appointment.
Ms Deveny was appointed as a Disability Ambassador for the Government late last year.
“Her appointment is a slap in the face to the disability community. Ms Deveny has made some very offensive comments regarding people with disability,” Senator Fifield said.
In one column, referring to people who live in the outer suburbs, she wrote:
“The reality is that it is impossible to watch these brainless retards belt the crap out of each other without enjoying it just a little.”
And in another column, called ‘candles by candlelight,’ she writes:
“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, because Mum was chucking her annual Christmas spastic.”
It was revealed during Senate Estimates that department staff were aware of Ms Deveny’s comments prior to her appointment.
“Minister Shorten needs to come clean on whether he knew of these comments when he made the appointment as Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities,” Senator Fifield said.
“The Government must apologise for the deep offence they have caused many in the disability community. They must admit they got this wrong.”