A recording of comments made by the Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Chisholm appearing to describe LGBTI issues as “ridiculous rubbish” has emerged after she claimed yesterday that stories about it were “fake news” and not representative of her own views.
- Gladys Liu says the reports took her interview out of context, misrepresenting her views
- The Guardian has responded to the ABC saying that it stands by the 2016 article
- Ms Liu defended herself, saying that she was conveying the views of the Chinese community
The recording, obtained by the ABC, comes from an interview reported in the Guardian in 2016 when Gladys Liu was working on the campaign of then Liberal candidate for the seat Julia Banks, who resigned last year citing bullying within the Liberal Party.
It emerged on the same day Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Chisholm for Ms Liu’s campaign launch.
In the recording Ms Liu was asked about the Safe Schools program, which she has campaigned against, as well as about same-sex marriage, both of which were significant political issues in 2016.
“A lot of parents don’t agree with letting boys go into a girls’ toilet,” she said.
“They strongly opposed the Safe Schools program. Cross-dressing and transgender — it is something they found difficult to accept. Chinese believe same-sex [marriage] is against normal practice,” Ms Liu was quoted as saying.
“Chinese people come to Australia because they want good … things for the next generation, not to be destroyed — they use the word destroyed — [by] same-sex, transgender, intergender. All this rubbish. To them, they are just ridiculous rubbish.”
Yesterday at a candidates forum featuring Ms Liu and her Labor opponent for the marginal seat, Jennifer Yang, Ms Liu was asked specifically about the comments by an audience member, which the ABC caught on camera.
She defended the comments as being representative of the Chinese community, not her own views.
“I was interviewed and at the time I wasn’t a candidate and I didn’t know I had to tape my speech or recording the interview of what happened — it was fake news, it was misrepresented,” she said.
“I was asked about what I had heard from the Chinese community, and I told the person who interviewed me what I heard.”
She has made similar claims in other recent media reports when asked about the comments.
The journalist who wrote the original Guardian story, Doug Hendrie, told the ABC after he heard Ms Liu’s comments about fake news and misrepresentation that he went through his notes and listened to the recording of the interview again.
“I listened to it and it’s still as described in the article,” he said.
“I think her spin was she was merely the conduit [of the Chinese community’s sentiments], but the fact that she said ‘all this rubbish’ that’s very much her own words.”
“I can understand why she is rejecting it as ‘fake news’, but no, I have a recording and it’s from a long interview and I like to think I represented it fairly.”
Guardian Australia News Editor Mike Ticher, when contacted by the ABC, said “we certainly do stand by the story” and added that the paper was going to look at publishing its own follow-up.
Comment has been sought from Ms Liu repeatedly but she had not responded at the time of publishing.