A member of the Mossman and Port Douglas Labor Party branch has been accused of making derogatory comments on social media to female candidates in the seat of Cook in the lead up to the 2020 Queensland state election.
Gerry W Follows who resides at Wonga Beach and who is a member of the Labor party and was seen sitting at Cynthia Lui’s table at the recent Cook election forum and lunch at the Mareeba Soccer Club.
During the lunch, Mr Follows stood up and asked the candidates a question. This is when Brettlyn “The Beaver” Neal from One Nation acknowledged Mr Follows “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the keen interest that you have personally shown on my journey (and Tanika’s as well) with your copious amount of comments on my Facebook page.”
This was then followed by comments from KAP candidate Tanika Parker “Good on your Beaver it needed to be said, I was going to say the same thing.”
The comments that Ms Neal and Ms Parker were referring to include comments on their personal candidate pages from Mr Follows account such as:
“Cynthia will win Cook against a burnt out “Nipper” a washed up lesbian boxer “beaver” (bahaha) and a F….d in the head Mad Katter from Townsville.”
“Where I come from we eat beavers not vote for them.”
“You really are a f…..g imbecile aren’t you. Do you think these companies bring in every worker, every product, every tonne of concrete? Thank god there’s One Neuron for all these bats…t crazy f….wits. Please explain,lol.”
“You really are a fool! I’m hoping that you haven’t had your bell rung so many times that you can’t read…”
In a statement about the comments, KAP’s Tanika Parker said “This type of behaviour is not tolerated by myself or any other candidates, no one should be subjected to this type of cyberbullying,” she said
“If it does continue to happen I recommend any candidate to take legal action.”
Brettlyn “The Beaver” Neal said “At the end of the day negative people fuel my fire for me to want to succeed more.” she said.
“If they are spending so much time concentrating on my progress then obviously I am doing something to rattle them, I’m a fighter and I take this stuff in my stride.
“The comments are inappropriate, but my main concern is to my partner, Mum or my Nan reading those comments.”
Independent candidate Yodie Batzke also claimed that she had been on the receiving end of negative comments from Mr Follows but had banned him from her page, in the last year or so.
Mr Follows claimed that he knew nothing about the Facebook comments and that his Facebook account had been hacked. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Mr Follows said when contacted by The Express Newspaper.
“What are they talking about, I was hacked about three weeks ago, I got my page taken down and restarted.”
Mr Follows said he couldn’t remember the dates that he took his Facebook page down due to hacking.
“I did not make those comments; there is a lady from down south who hacked my account.”
Mr Follows said he didn’t realise what the two candidates were talking about when they mentioned his comments at the Mareeba Soccer club.
“I’ve told you twice I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
When asked about any proof about his page being hacked or any contact with Facebook about the hacking Mr Follows said that all the comments from Facebook were deleted when the page was deleted.
The above comments were also recently removed from Facebook after The Express started making enquires.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui wrote in a statement “I condemn these comments, and I will always call out comments and behaviour that hurt people.”
In a statement from One Nation leader Pauline Hanson regarding the comments. “I was tempted not to respond to this article because I thought the person had a few mental issues, but the truth is the person is just a coward. The type of coward who would never have the courage to stand up and actually stand for something,” she said.
“I chose Beaver to stand for the people of Cook because I’ve seen her deliver outcomes for communities throughout the electorate. If she can deliver positive outcomes outside of parliament, imagine what she can do if she’s elected.”
“I’ve just spent another weekend with her here in the Torres Strait and I can tell you right now, she’s enormously respected wherever she goes.”