Recommended Resources – The Stringer – Independent News, Investigative Journalism

Dennis Jensen

Dennis Jensen

Dr Jensen’s Tweets nonsense

April 18th, 2013

Western Australia’s Federal Liberal Member for Tangney, Dennis Jensen’s controversial views continue to dog his patch of the political landscape. On Tuesday he tweeted various insults that do not befit someone in political office. His is not the first but it does come as a surprise when it is from a highly educated individual. He twittered to an Aboriginal lady, known as @TheKooriWoman, who identifies as Gomeroi and who has many Twitter followers – “get over” colonialism.

Dennis Jensen

“Hell, how long ago was colonialism?”

“Get over it… every country in the world has been successfully invaded in the past,” tweeted Mr Jensen.

@TheKooriWoman responded.

“Do I snap my fingers and forget 213 years of oppression Mr Jensen?”

“(The oppression) which has created effects that are still being played out.”

Dr Jensen responded.

“It is time to unify Australia, not divide based on a victim mentality.”

“What do you do when knocked down, just blame?”

Then in typical Dr Jensen style he came in with this clanger.

“So you have personally lived 213 years?”

“Work out ways to maximise your own life experiences, you can’t for deceased ancestors.”

“Being a victim doesn’t help with overcoming those deprivations. All need to progress with positive agenda.”

Dr Jensen said affirmative action policies had failed Aboriginal Australia. He attacked Abstudy for providing specific allowances to Aboriginal students. He twittered that to do so was “discriminatory and racist.” He twittered it was unfair to be paying higher rates of Abstudy to only Aboriginal students.

“Why (are) Indigenous students living independently given more financial assistance than any other in (the) possie,” tweeted Dr Jensen.

Without adequately explaining why he twittered that the solution to Aboriginal poverty was “no affirmative action programs, and (to) address issues in terms of need, not race.”

Dr Jensen yesterday issued a statement expressing regret about posting the tweets.

“In expressing my desire for true Indigenous advancement, I may have used inappropriate channels of communication.”

“I will in future look at using more appropriate channels to pursue an agenda of generating policies to get true equality.”

“I want to engage with the Indigenous community constructively.”

Dr Jensen has had nine years in parliament to engage with Aboriginal communities. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2004. He is South African born and well educated. On his personal website he boasts that he “has the highest scientific qualifications of all MPs and Senators.”

Dr Jensen graduated from Monash University with a PhD in Materials Science and Physics. He is one of the Coalition’s most famous climate change deniers – in terms of its extent and in terms of human activity being its origin.

Before entering Parliament, Dr Jensen spent a long career in science and research industries.

He worked at the CSIRO and was a research scientist and analyst at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

He emigrated to Australia at age 20 in 1982 from South Africa.

The Stringer is aware that Coalition Leader Tony Abbott chided Dr Jensen for his comments but in public Mr Abbott limited what he had to say.

“We can have very strong feelings about all sorts of things but it is important to conduct our discussion in a civil way, and that is what I would urge all of my colleagues to do.”

Coalition shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said Dr Jensen’s comments were “unfortunate.”

“From our perspective, we owe the Indigenous community so much,” said Mr Hockey.

Gerry Georgatos declares an impartiality conflict of interest. – For a number of years I lived and worked in the electorate of Tangney and met Dr Jensen on several occasions, especially in my role as the General Manager of the Murdoch University Guild of Students and in my various roles with a number of organisations that often brought us into debate or conflict especially over climate change. We have met in person and managed our conversations civilly but we disagree with each other’s worldviews. I had also publicly criticised Prime Minister John Howard for overruling the majority vote of the Tangney Liberal branch, they had selected another candidate. Prime Minister Howard vetoed the branch outcome and installed Dr Jensen as the Liberal candidate.

I was disturbed by assumptions that senior staff in Dr Jensen’s Tagney office made to me, and which were initially supported by Dr Jensen, till I challenged them, about the conditions and poverty of many African peoples and also of charitable organisations. On this occasion I had been invited to attend a meeting with Dr Jensen and WA’s OXFAM campaign coordinator, Paddy Cullen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s