Issuu on Google+ Linda Burney MP said Abbott’s inappropriate touch of Indigenous leader needs serious explaining EXCLUSIVE by Stephen Hagan inda Burney, MP, NSW Deputy Opposition Leader, and Australia’s most senior female Indigenous politician, said if the allegations against Tony Abbott’s inappropriate touching of Indigenous leader Ali Cobby Eckerman (pictured) is correct he has some very serious explaining to do. The NSW Deputy Opposition Leader was responding to allegations made by Ali Cobby Eckerman to her unwelcomed encounter with Tony Abbott at a café in Adelaide. On March 6 the mulit-awardwinning author was having a working breakfast with two work colleagues at Borcellis Café in Adelaide when she alleged the Federal Opposition Leader approached her table and without making eye contact inappropriately rubbed his finger up and down her bare arm. Ms Cobby Eckerman, recent winner of the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and Book of the Year at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, said she was on the phone to her brother Christopher when the Opposition Leader culturally and inappropriately touched her. “After ordering breakfast I rang my brother, as he also works in a similar field as me. I mentioned to him that Mr Abbott was in the café. During our phone conversation I noticed my work colleagues look up and smile, and realised Mr Abbott had approached the table from behind me,” Ms Cobby Eckerman said in an exclusive L interview with First Nations Telegraph. “They started talking with him. I was still on the phone and said, ‘Bruz I gotta go, he’s here and he’s breathing on my shoulder’. Mr Abbott was standing very close to my right side, and I heard him say something about ‘speedos’. I turned to look at him after hearing this remark, and felt his finger run up and down my bare arm. “He smiled and left. I did not see him leave the café or drive away. I was too shocked and embarrassed. The time was approximately 8.30 am.” Ms Cobby Eckerman made specific mention of her awareness of Tony Abbott in the café and explained to First Nations Telegraph that she chose to sit with her back to him to avoid any eye contact. “Immediately inside the café we chose a table in the middle of the room, and I chose to sit with my back toward Mr Abbott. My workplace has a national policy of Neutrality, and I respected this was Page 1

Linda burney mp said abbott’s inappropriate touch of indigenous leader needs serious explaining

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