There are calls for the Liberal National Party to dump a Queensland candidate who posted a photo of herself with a man in blackface on social media, but the party is refusing to back down.
LNP candidate for Redcliffe Kerri-Anne Dooley posted the photo of her with a man dressed as late indigenous singer Mandawuy Yunupingu over the weekend.
Innovation and Small Business Minister Leanne Enoch said the LNP should immediately dump Ms Dooley, who has since deleted the post, for the culturally insensitive act.
“For a candidate, in the 21st century, hoping to represent the people of Queensland, who endorses that kind of behaviour, but on top of that reference a deceased individual, someone who is highly respected, is just appalling,” Ms Enoch told reporters on Monday.
“They should be disendorsing this candidate for this kind of behaviour.”
Ms Enoch became Queensland’s first female indigenous MP when she won the southern Brisbane seat of Algester in Labor’s shock 2015 election victory.
Ms Dooley earlier tried to explain her actions by saying she attended an Australian-themed house warming party where guests went dressed as prominent identities.
“One person was a fan of the band Yothu Yindi and lead singer, the late Mandawuy Yunupingu. I posted a photo of us together on my Instagram feed,” she said in a statement.
“On reflection it was a mistake to post this photo and unprompted, I deleted it. I apologise for any offence that this may have caused.”
LNP President Gary Spence issued a statement on Monday stating Ms Dooley would remain a candidate.
“Kerri-Anne has been a tireless worker for her community and will make an excellent local member if elected,” he said.
“She has apologised for making a mistake and for causing any possible offence.”