Mr Watt sat silently as his colleagues applauded the family violence campaigner.
A Victorian Liberal MP who remained seated during a standing ovation for Rosie Batty has defended his actions.
38-year old Graham Watt was in a special joint sitting of parliament with his colleagues when he failed to stand to applaud Australian of the Year Rosie Batty yesterday.
Ms Batty, whose son Luke was killed by his father Greg Anderson likened the domestic violence to family terrorism in her speech.
As she finished every member of the chamber got to their feet except Mr Watt who remained in his seat.
After the event Mr Watt released a statement, saying that: “For very personal and private reasons I chose not to stand”.
“Family violence is an issue of incredible sensitivity to me and my family and at some point I will be making a public contribution about the indiscriminate nature of family violence,” he said.
“I am very passionate about dealing with the scourge of family violence and supporting all those who are victims of it, male and female.”
The Victorian Oppositon Leader Matthew Guy has defended his actions, saying that they did not reflect a lack of support to combat family violence.
“I think it’s fair to say that he has his own experiences and perspectives that are deeply personal and would be difficult for most of us to comprehend or to have understood because we haven’t been through them,” Mr Guy told 774 ABC Melbourne.