Deakin University dumps axed Liberal candidate Aaron Lane

FORMER Liberal candidate Aaron Lane, disowned by his party after homophobic comments on Twitter, has now lost his work at Deakin University.

Aaron Lane.

Aaron Lane.

University spokeswoman Sarah Dolan said Mr Lane had been a casual sessional tutor in law at the university teaching sessions in the first semester.

“The situation is that he has previously worked in a casual role but he won’t be employed at Deakin any longer,” she said.

Mr Lane, the Liberal Party’s candidate for the upper house Western Victoria region, quit on Friday ahead of a party meeting at which it was expected he would be sacked. 

A former Young Liberal president and fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, he had posted a series of offensive comments on Twitter more than two years ago, which surfaced on Friday.

Mr Lane, who has been a party member for more than a decade, used the derogatory term “faggots” and also said, “The problem is (IMO) many homos make their sexuality a defining aspect of their being”. He also referred to former Labor leader Simon Crean and former Speaker Peter Slipper as “a giant C”. Mr Lane said he was not a homophobic person and he regretted using juvenile language. He apologised for the comments. 

He said the comments were embarrassing but that some of them were “stripped of all context”. “I am sure everyone has said things that, on reflection, we wish we had not said, regardless of the context.

“I don’t want this hanging around the neck of the government; I’m a true believer in the Liberal cause.”  He said the comments about sexuality being a defining aspect was part of a conversation with an acquaintance from the university, Jarryd Bartle, who was head of the queer collective at Deakin.

Mr Bartle has confirmed that comment was taken out of context and that Mr Lane was agreeing with him about the idea of people identifying solely as a gay person was limiting.

Following the news of the comments, Premier Denis Napthine called on Mr Lane to stand down.



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