Dan Andrews is facing accusations of “world-record hypocrisy” for accepting VIP Australian Open seats from Emirates, an airline based in Dubai where homosexuality is considered a capital crime.
The Victorian premier was slammed by Melbourne talkback radio host Neil Mitchell, who called out Andrews and his wife Catherine for being guests of the Dubai-based carrier during the semi-final match between Novak Djokovic and Tommy Paul on Friday.
Mitchell reminded his listeners of the premier‘s uncompromising stance toward former NAB boss Andrew Thornburn.
Thornburn was forced to resign from his position as CEO of Essendon AFL club over his links to a controversial church, despite being recently hired for the role.
“Even for him, this was world-record hypocrisy,” Mitchell said.
“The premier took after him and accused him of supporting a church that followed hatred, intolerance and bigotry because it didn’t approve of homosexuality and Andrew Thorburn was effectively drummed out of that job before he started.”
Mitchell said the UAE have set “new standards in hatred and bigotry when it comes to gay people” and called on the premier to reflect on his actions..
“Homosexuality is a capital crime (in Dubai) is it punishable by death,” he continued in his lengthy radio rant.
“They execute gay people, they practice conversion therapy.
“Andrew Thornburn’s church doesn’t approve of homosexuality but it preaches love towards gay people.
“In Dubai they execute them.”
Andrews came under fire after Prime Minister Albanese faced a chorus of criticism for his appearance at the Open. Albanese spent three nights at the Australian Open tennis tournament but paid only a fleeting visit to Alice Springs, which has seen a catastrophic collapse of law and order.
Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley said there had been tennis matches played at the Australian Open that had lasted longer than Mr Albanese’s visit to Alice Springs.
“The people of Alice Springs need national leadership, and they aren’t getting that from Mr Albanese,” Ms Ley said.
“We need more leadership from the Prime Minister. If he wants to go to the tennis that’s up to him and there’s no issue with that, but the fact he’s seemingly spent three days watching the tennis in Melbourne and just four hours in Alice Springs doesn’t pass the pub test.
“You don’t get to be a part-time prime minister.”
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