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LISTEN: Did he go too far? George takes on GetUp on Facebook

GEORGE Christensen has wasted no time following his re-election in waging war against his least favourite activist group: GetUp.

Only hours after securing his seat as the Federal MP for Dawson, he posted a photo, taken unawares, of Queensland lead organiser for GetUp Ellen Roberts on his Facebook page, accompanied by a statement in which he called members of the group "grubs" who should "bugger off".

"I captured this image of a forlorn Ellen Roberts, Queensland Lead Organiser of GetUp! outside a Mackay polling booth yesterday afternoon. I guess at the time she realised all the coin, effort and lies GetUp! had spewed into Dawson was all for nought," the post read. "These grubs came after me because of my support for the Carmichael coal project. They threw everything at me: cold calls, text messages, full page newspaper ads and online advertising. But the people rejected their rubbish.

"GetUp! should now bugger off back to inner-city Sydney or Melbourne and leave us alone so we can create some jobs!"

While some Facebook commenters defended Mr Christensen, others called the federal MP a cyberbully.

 

When contacted by The Mercury, Ms Roberts said she found the post "creepy" and "cowardly".

"He refuses to talk to me face to face," she said. "Instead he takes a creepy photo of me when I don't know about it and decides to put it on Facebook."

 

LISTEN: What GetUp leader Ellen Roberts thought about the post:

 

She said she had seen Mr Christensen at the polling booth on Saturday, and while the two hadn't "greeted each other with open arms" they had "sort of smiled" at each other. Now she questions why the Federal MP did not confront her directly.

Did George Christensen go too far with his Facebook post?

This poll ended on 05 July 2016.

Current Results

Yes

80%

No

19%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

But she said her main concern was that his behaviour was not acceptable for a politician.

"It's not the kind of behaviour people expect from a Member of Parliament," she said.

"To take a photo like that of a woman and then posting it like that, it's not acceptable.

"It's not a good role model for children, around bullying and the use of social media."

But Mr Christensen said the leader of an activist group should expect the same level of public scrutiny as a politician, particularly GepUp as they had campaigned against him during the election. And despite Ms Roberts' claims, he said the post contained no "malice intended to personally insult her".

"She's a hardcore political activist. I haven't attacked her. I just said she was looking forlorn," he said. "The issue to me is why Ellen, from Brisbane, flew up with her mates to Mackay to campaign against me. It's insidious."

OPINION: Was George justified?

He claimed the organisation had called his constituents late at night and had been telling lies about him. When asked why he hadn't confronted Ms Roberts face-to-face he said there was "no point". He also said if he found himself in a similar position to take a photo of a rival politician, he would have done the same.

"I've got to say, if it's so bad then why have I got more than 1000 likes?" he said.

Matthew Harris commented on Mr Christensen's post: "Why belittle people after a victory that's just both arrogant and cowardly try to teach my kids how bad bullying is and here we have a political leader cyber bullying openly on social media ... Shame on u george shame shame shame"

"No mate. The shame is on them," Mr Christensen replied. "They need to be called out after their lies. They aren't just innocent by-standers but political propagandists."

Topics:  editors picks facebook federal election george christensen getup social media