Candidate’s dad involved in incident at Boyne booth
THE GLOVES are off for the seat of Gladstone but it’s not the candidates involved after incumbent MP Glenn Butcher’s father was accused of getting into a physical altercation with an elderly One Nation volunteer at the Boyne Island Community Centre yesterday afternoon.
Glenn Butcher has strongly denied his father had touched the One Nation volunteer or had done anything wrong.
Early voting booths opened across the state on Monday including at Toolooa Street Gladstone and at the Boyne Island Community Centre, where the alleged incident occurred yesterday.
Candidates and volunteers have been manning the booths, handing out how-to-vote advice to constituents.
The 75-year-old One Nation volunteer, who asked not to be named, said about 1pm yesterday he was handing out how to vote cards outside the library main entrance when the incident occurred.
“I saw Neville Butcher coming from the carpark area wearing a red Labor T-shirt,” the One Nation volunteer said.
“As he got to the top of the stairs he yelled out to me ‘you are not to intimidate Labor Party volunteers’.
“He got closer as he said this until he was waving his finger about one foot away from my face.
“So I stepped forward and said to him ‘do not wave your finger in my face’.”
The One Nation volunteer said a physical altercation followed, which he claims caused him to fall on his back.
“It all happened so quickly.”
The One Nation volunteer said immediately he felt pain in his neck but no other significant injuries.
“Once I got to my feet I asked a Labor volunteer, who I thought I had a good rapport with earlier in the day, did you see that,” the One Nation volunteer said.
“He said he didn’t see what happened, he didn’t see the incident, which I find it extremely hard to believe.”
The One Nation volunteer said he spoke to the electoral commission supervisor about the incident, who told him Neville Butcher had already reported the incident to him.
One Nation candidate for Gladstone, Kevin Jorgensen, said he had made his volunteer aware that party volunteers weren’t allowed within six metres of the Community Centre entrance according to Electoral Commission of Queensland guidelines.
He said women volunteering for Glenn Butcher had complained that his One Nation volunteer was intimidating them
“These women said to Neville Butcher my volunteer had been intimidating them by walking behind them,” Mr Jorgensen said.
Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher, denied his 78-year-old father laid a finger on the elderly One Nation volunteer.
“One of the One Nation volunteers had been getting close to some of my female volunteers’ faces during the day,” he said.
“They felt as though they were being intimidated.
“My dad went down to bring some more how to vote cards down because they had ran out.
“He went to have a conversation with our volunteer and the guy in question was there and got aggressive with my mum and my dad said to him ‘have you been getting in the faces of our people, don’t you know about COVID and the 1.5 metre rule?’
“This guy came in aggressively at my dad, within an inch of his face.
“My dad put his hands up to stop him getting close to his face and ‘old mate’ has taken a step back and fallen over backwards into the garden.”