THE NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal has ordered former Katter’s Australian Party candidate for Wannon Tess Corbett to apologise for having vilified homosexuals.
During her election campaign in January, Ms Corbett said she did not want gays, lesbians or paedophiles working in her kindergartens.
“Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians get rights,” she said.
Ms Corbett stepped away from the election after the comments.
Anti-discrimination campaigner Gary Burns lodged a vilification complaint with the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board against Ms Corbett.
Mr Burns said Ms Corbett’s statements in relation to homosexuals in a political campaign were likely to incite hatred on the basis that there was an unfounded connection between paedophiles and homosexuals.
“Clearly the statements of Ms Corbett were premeditated and designed by her to cause maximum harm, damage and violence towards homosexuals,” he said.
NSW Anti-Discrimination Board president Stepan Kerkyasharian referred the complaint to the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal.
On Tuesday, the tribunal supported Mr Burns’ claim.
The tribunal ordered Ms Corbett to publish an apology in the Sydney Morning Herald in a prominent position at her own expense and to apologise to Mr Burns in writing.
She was also ordered to refrain from ‘pernicious public behaviour’ that breached the Anti-Discrimination Act and its anti-vilification provisions.
“For highly distressing reasons, the Australian public at the present day is being made particularly aware of the serious and long-lasting psychological damage suffered by victims of paedophilia,” the tribunal’s deputy president Michael Chesterton said in his written decision.
“Ms Corbett’s claims do not merely offend or insult – they incite these negative reactions.”