A NSW politician has decided to name a local domestic violence refuge after himself, despite previously facing court for assaulting his former partner.
Port Stephens mayor, Bruce MacKenzie, has attracted outrage amongst family violence campaigners for dubbing a new shelter in Raymond Terrace the ‘Bruce MacKenzie Centre for victims of domestic violence’, reports The Daily Telegraph.
Domestic Violence NSW chair, Jan McDonald, told the paper that the decision is “wrong on so many levels” and convention would normally see such a facility named after a woman.
But MacKenzie doesn't see the problem. In fact, he reportedly told the paper that his critics can "jump in the creek".
“Yes, it’s named after me and I am very, very proud of it,” he said.
“Domestic violence is a shocker. I stand up for what I’ve done. No one does more than me and I’m very proud of this centre.”
MacKenzie was given a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered to comply with an Apprehended Violence Order in 1997 after pleading guilty over an incident involving his then de facto, The Daily Telegraph reports.
No conviction was recorded.
According to news reports quoted by the Telegraph, Raymond Terrace Court was told MacKenzie had “headbutted his de facto wife until his nose bled” and “beat her head against a tiled floor” during an argument.
However, when speaking to the paper about the new shelter, the mayor said, “It was all a misunderstanding — there was no headbutting, no bleeding. I pleaded guilty to tackling her. It wasn’t domestic violence.
"I was with her for 12 years after that.”