Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack labelled 'out of touch' over Black Lives Matter comments - ABC News  01/13/2021 03:59:48 

The New South Wales Senior Australian of the Year has demanded an apology from her local Federal Member Michael McCormack over his comments regarding Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.

  • NSW Senior Australian of the Year Aunty Isabel Reid has demanded an apology from Michael McCormack
  • Aunty Isabel said the comments were "hurtful" and "disappointing"
  • Wiradjuri elders and community members have threatened to poll against Mr McCormack at the next election

The Member for Riverina and Acting Prime Minister has been widely criticised for comparing riots at the US Capitol building to BLM protests.

Elders in the Wiradjuri community in Wagga Wagga, in the heart of Mr McCormack's electorate, have condemned his comments and said he is "out of touch" with his community.

"It is very hurtful," Wagga Wagga resident and New South Wales Senior of the Year Aunty Isabel Reid said.

"I've been in this city a long time and I haven't come up against anything like that before.

Aunty Isabel took part in the Wagga Wagga BLM march in June 2020, along with the city's Mayor Greg Conkey and the State Member for Wagga Wagga, Joe McGirr.

"I can't see anything wrong with that," Aunty Isabel said.

"To compare us with something like what happened in America  I often think, 'Where is he getting all this from?'"

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Michael McCormack digs in over Black Lives Matter-Capitol Riots comparison.

Elders demand apology

The Wiradjuri elder said she had known Mr McCormack for years.

"He's a high-profile man and I've had a lot of dealings with him in the past, and all good things," she said.

"But something like this  I think it's very disappointing.

A group of Wiradjuri elders and community members in Wagga Wagga also issued a statement about Mr McCormack's comments.

The group said he had not shown "empathy or respect" for the First Nations people in his electorate.

"We will consider motivating our people to actively poll against you at the next election unless we can resolve this insulting matter by meeting with you in Wagga Wagga as soon as possible," the statement said.


Wiradjuri man and First Nations advocate Joe Williams also spoke out on social media, saying the Member for Riverina did not "speak for all us Wagga mob".

In a statement, Mr McCormack said he had spoken to both Aunty Isabel and Mr Williams today.

"They understand and appreciate my respect for them and all Australians," the statement said.

"I support the right of any Australian to protest, however, the point I have consistently made is that violence of any kind is abhorrent.

"When lives are lost and property is damaged, that is to be condemned no matter the circumstances."


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