Liberal senators dig in as divisions over LGBT students widen
27 November 2018
Was one of the Liberal senators on the Post Ruddock Senate Inquiry who refused to agree to the protection of LGBT students from discrimination unless the current legal exemptions were replaced by other protections for religious freedom.
TasWeekend: Controversial Senator standing firm
26 February 2016
“He [Abetz] plans to hand over to his ideological love child Jonno Duniam.”
Jonathon Duniam is the Liberal’s third Senate candidate for this year’s election, running alongside Abetz and Senate president Stephen Parry. Duniam was an adviser to Abetz in Canberra, both in Opposition and during the dying days of the Howard Government.
Normally it takes two people to produce ideological offspring, as in Tony Abbott’s jocular claim he is the political love child of John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop. But Barns’ point is clear enough.
Like Abetz, Duniam is a Christian and staunchly opposed to gay marriage. Duniam is 33. Abetz was 34 when he was first elected. Both have three children.
When I meet Duniam for coffee his phone vibrates non-stop – one of the side-effects of running for Parliament – but he is polite enough to ignore it. He is lean and clean-cut like his former boss but about half a foot taller and with a white toothy grin that seems made for campaign posters.
“Ideologically, yeah, we’ve probably got quite a few things in common,” Duniam says of the comparisons with Abetz.
“Am I modelling myself on a person I think who’s stood up for what they believe in and worked hard for those causes? Yes, absolutely.