WHERE?S OUR APOLOGY, JOHN?
FILIPINO Lilibeth Vanz and her husband of 15 years, Lismore businessman Frank Vanz, want Federal Opposition leader John Brogden to apologise to all Australians over his racist comments.
Yesterday they were shocked and saddened to learn the man with whom they have twice had dinner had called former NSW Premier Bob Carr's Malaysian-born wife, Helena, a 'mail-order bride'.
At the same recent public function Mr Brogden also pinched a female reporter on the bottom and propositioned another.
Mr Brogden, who is married, had been drinking on the night.
Following a meeting with senior Liberal Party officials Mr Brogden yesterday resigned as leader of the party.
Now some people are calling on him to resign from Parliament altogether.
Mrs Vanz said she was appalled at Mr Brogden's comments which she said were 'a slur on all foreign-born Australians'.
"I feel wounded by his comments. It's like he doesn't want us here," she said.
"His comments are quite unforgivable and he should make a public apology, not only to women from multicultural backgrounds, but to all Australians everywhere.
"Australia prides itself on being a multicultural society and values cultural diversity, yet this man is making a mockery of these values."
Mr Vanz said he had fallen in love with his wife while on a business trip to the Philippines and had visited her and her family for three years before they married.
The couple have three children, Frank, 12, Frederick, 9, and Lilibeth, 7.
Mrs Vanz said the concept of 'mail-order brides' who only marry to get into Australia was a 'silly stereotype'.
"I am devoted to Frank. He is the love of my life and my best friend. I feel honoured to be his wife and we are very happy together," she said.
Lismore restaurant owner Luzonia Farrand and her sons Dennis Robinson, 17, and Lee Robinson, 19, are also appalled by Mr Brogden's comments.
"What he said is absolutely disgusting," said Ms Farrand, who arrived in Aust- ralia from the Philippines 21 years ago and married an Australian man.
"Drinking is no excuse for unacceptable behaviour," she said. "I think the Australian community deserves a full public apology.
"What he said was degrading and hurtful."
Ballina MP Don Page said Mr Brogden had paid a high price for his comments, which he said were 'totally inappropriate'.
What do you think?
Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opin- email@example.com