Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead last week took aim at the Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington for the comments she made in Parliament regarding Government MPs not taking part in a debate.
Mr Bromhead said that Ms Washington was particularly critical of the Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnson whom she claimed was “cooking a barbeque upstairs”.
“For the Member for Port Stephens to attack Michael Johnson shows how desperate and naïve she is,” Mr Bromhead said.
“The Member for Port Stephens obviously fails to listen, look at her emails or read the notices that have been on display across Parliament House inviting everyone in that building to attend the NSW Parliamentary Lions Club barbeque to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation.
My Bromhead who is also the NSW Parliamentary Lions Club said, “Michael was with me cooking the barbeque. More to the point $1,000 was raised between noon and 2 pm for this very worthy cause.”
“The Member for Port Stephens’ attack on Michael Johnson was low and despicable,” he said.
“Michael is a member of Lions and a volunteer with the Rural Fire Service and he knows how important it is to volunteer and lead by example.
“For the member for Port Stephens to attack Michael for volunteering, for working for a great service organisation like Lions and for raising much needed funds for children’s cancer is below the belt.
“It is also an attack on every Australian who volunteers and raises money for charity and she should be ashamed,” Mr Bromhead said.
Myall Coast News spoke to Ms Washington and she said that the comments were made when contributing to a debate in Parliament on a Bill introduced by the government, which authorised the Government to remove the heavy rail line into Newcastle.
Ms Washington said, “The day before the Bill was introduced, there was a rally outside Parliament House, against the closure of the rail line.
“At the rally, I met with a number of people from the Upper Hunter, alongside many other people from across the Hunter, all opposed to the removal of heavy rail into Newcastle.”
“Michael Johnson was not at the rally, did not speak with his constituents who attended the rally and did not contribute to the debate in Parliament. I mentioned his absence because I know many of his constituents would have liked him to have represented their interests by speaking in the debate,” she said.
“At the time of the debate, Michael was cooking a BBQ to raise money for Children’s Cancer Research, which is obviously, a very worthwhile cause.
“I too would have liked to have participated in the fundraising activity but felt that I should instead represent the interests of my community in Parliament, given that’s what I was elected to do,” said Ms Washington.