Hugetrouble over Tweets

PRESSURE is mounting on premier Colin Barnett over his preference deal with One Nation after it was revealed south metropolitan upper house candidate Richard Eldridge had previously published racist and homophobic tweets.

Mr Eldridge deactivated his Ned Kelly@hugetrouble twitter account in January, shortly after being publicly endorsed by One Nation, but the Sydney Morning Herald unearthed some unsavoury tweets.

“Let’s hunt down some indo reporters and balibo them. What’s Suharto up to these days,” he wrote in 2013, apparently in reference to murder of five Australian journalists in 1975.

“I’ve got indo mates and fuc their arrogant about their superiority over us lazy Aussies. we are regarded as shit in Indonesian eyes.

“The only real thing Muslims are good at is multiplying but that is all they need to do history will show.”

Mr Eldridge, a former Bob Katter party candidate, and real-estate agent, didn’t return our call, but in an interview shortly after his endorsement, he told the Chook he wasn’t a racist.

“I’m not a racist and have around 20 muslim clients who I deal with and have been out to dinner with.”

Mr Eldridge has reportedly dismissed the tweets as “locker room talk” and at the time of going to print had not stood down as a candidate.

Mr Eldridge claims to have distinguished lineage in WA: his great grandfather was Frank O’Connor, the son of C. Y. O’Connor who built Fremantle harbour, Mundaring Weir and the Coolgardie pipeline.

On his mother’s side was Charles Manning, head of one of the original families to settle in Perth, with substantial land holdings in Hamilton Hill and Freo’s West End.

His cousin John Dawkins was treasurer to Labor PM Paul Keating and another cousin, Sir Ernest Lee Steere, a former Perth lord mayor.

“Everyone I talk to is fed up with the current parties,” Mr Eldridge had said.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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