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Sharkie returns fire at "elitist" attack

Politics

Fresh from defeating his daughter in a by-election, Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie has hit back at former foreign minister Alexander Downer’s “elitist” attack on her.

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In a Facebook post on Friday night, Mr Downer criticised some of Sharkie’s supporters, saying they had brought “horrible hate to our district” before adding they “must all be new arrivals”.

“I think there’s an element of elitism there in those comments,” Sharkie told ABC radio today.

“To assume that everybody who voted for me must be newcomers and therefore must be some kind of lower class I think is a little disappointing.”

Sharkie comprehensively beat Georgina Downer in the Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo, which was held by her father for 24 years.

Downer, a third generation MP, said nation-building was in the family’s blood, but denied accusations of entitlement.

Sharkie said every person in Mayo was a nation-builder.

“Whether they are volunteering down on the south coast with cancer patients, whether they’re driving a truck,” she said.

Downer intends to run again in the seat at the next federal election.

– AAP

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