THE two politicians wanting to replace Steve Gibbons have traded blows over his comments on Twitter.
Liberal candidate for Bendigo Greg Bickley asked if ALP candidate for Bendigo Lisa Chesters would demand Mr Gibbons apologise over the tweets and asked if she would counsel him over future comments.
He said the public would want to know her stance on the comments.
But Ms Chesters said Mr Bickley was playing personal politics.
“I would not make those (Twitter) comments, but then again, I’m not Steve Gibbons,” she said.
“It is disappointing that the first issue my opponent wishes to engage with me over is name-calling in Canberra.
“He hasn’t put out any statements or tweets about refugees and asylum seekers or issues that will make a difference to people in Bendigo.
“Who cares what people say in the playground? Let’s start talking about policy and what will make a difference to people’s lives.”
Mr Bickley said Ms Chesters should denounce the local member’s comments.
“Apparently she works for him, she represents him at every official function he is unable to turn up to,” he said.
“There’s an expectation if she’s representing Mr Gibbons and working for him part-time, people would expect she takes a position on this.
“Steve’s belated apology does not excuse the behaviour and I would think it would be very appropriate for Ms Chesters to denounce those comments.”
Ms Chesters said she could understand Mr Gibbons’ frustrations in posting the tweets but said it was largely a matter for him to deal with.
Mr Gibbons will not contest the next election.