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June 9, 2023

Ballina independent booed over domestic violence survivor-blaming

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Independent Kevin Loughrey.

The independent candidate for the seat of Ballina has attracted condemnation for comments he made over domestic violence at a public forum last week.

Kevin Loughrey received unprecedented levels of booing from the live audience at last week’s Ballina: Meet the Candidates broadcast forum in the Byron Theatre compared to previous similar broadcast forums.

Mr Loughrey referred to domestic violence as the result of poverty during his five minute campaign introductory speech.

Domestic violence happens when men lose their jobs and wives stress them out, says Loughrey

Ballina: Meet the Candidates 2023 live broadcast forum in the Byron Theatre, 15 March (L-R): Josh Booyens (The Nationals); Tamara Smith (The Greens); co-hosts Mia Armitage (Bay FM) and Aslan Shand (Echo Publications); Andrew Broadley (Labor); Kevin Loughrey (Independent) PIC: Michelle Michels (Bay FM)

‘The non-thinking idiots will say, “oh, we won’t tolerate domestic violence,”’ Mr Loughrey said, ‘what they’re saying is that they’re gonna go in and beat up the husband and throw him in jail’.

Mr Loughrey said domestic violence happened when ‘people’, before referring only to men, ‘lost their jobs’ and ‘when the wife is extremely worried for the welfare of children’.

‘The husband gets depressed, he hits the grog,’ Mr Loughrey said, ‘and then the wife keeps on talking to him and stressing to him that he’s gotta straighten up and he’s gotta get a job and he lashes out’.

The stunned crowd used the brief pause to boo, with one member calling ‘get this man out!’ before Mr Loughrey continued.

Charity worker debunks independent’s DV theory

Byron Bay Community Centre’s new GM Louise O’Connell. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Byron Community Centre General Manager Louise O’Connell later posed a question to Ballina candidates concerning funding for the Fletcher Street Cottage, which includes services for domestic violence survivors.

Ms O’Connell preceded her question by telling Mr Loughrey she was a domestic violence survivor at the hands of a fully employed husband.

‘This is why I do this job,’ Ms O’Connell said, before listing a long list of services provided without government support at the BCC’s Fletcher Street Cottage.

The cottage was ‘the only dedicated space to support our homeless community in Byron Bay,’ Ms O’Connell said, adding that the service cost a million dollars each year to run.

Mr Loughrey’s comments on domestic violence come alongside denials of climate change and indigenous massacres in Australia during colonisation.

The independent ran for the federal senate in last year’s election as the last candidate on a list of six for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

Mr Loughrey won 640 above-the-line votes out of around 4.8 million formal votes, or 0.01%, while Mr Palmer’s party failed to win a seat despite the flamboyant Queensland businessman famously investing a lot of money in the campaign.

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  1. Perhaps that deluded fellow was speaking from personal experience, or projecting … . He’s definitely no Renaissance man.

  2. …clearly this is not an issue where the one glove fits all scenario.
    Needless to say, the ideological based booing and derision is itself a form of violence where perhaps an open discussion and correction based on evidence wpuld have been a more enlightened response.

  3. This is a very sad gentleman. The only worry is he could take “”CONSPIRACY THEORIST “”votes that should go to a sensible candidate. Please preference properly

  4. Here we go again: another deluded, misogynist, idiot… where does he get this stuff from? Now we know he is just another buffoon acolyte of Clive Palmer. Hopefully he’ll soon be gone from everyone’s lives.

  5. On the contrary, I would love to see him get elected. The higher he climbs the harder he falls. Simple physics even the flat-earthers are subject to.

  6. Problems get worse when people can’t discuss them openly to try and find solutions. Did any of you notice me and mine seem strangely quite on something we would obviously have a lot to say about? That’s the level of coercion and intimidation the Echo staff have been put under. Expect DV to continue getting worse in the sound of the silence.

  7. Mia was correct in reading out the names and phone numbers of helplines such as Lifeline when this individual gave his gross answer about domestic violence abuse. Others comments directed at him included that he was stupid. I agree.
    He also answered a question from a representative of the LGBTQI group by saying that he did not know anything about that and that when he was raised up during the 70s and 80s “this sort of thing didn’t exist.” Naive at best, Former Ballina MP, Don Page, was in the audience and I saw him shaking his head in disbelief.
    When I arrived at Marvel Hall Byron Bay, to do a prepoll vote, former Greens Councilor, turned Independent during the 2012 to 2016 Council term, Rose Wanchap rushed up to me with a vote 1 Kevin Loughey brochure. I said that you have to be joking. What a blast from the past!


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