A staffer for Kiama MP Gareth Ward has been sacked, after being suspended for making lewd comments about women online.
The NSW Young Liberals, one who worked for Mr Ward and the other for Tourism Minister Adam Marshall, no longer have jobs with the government, sources have confirmed.
Four Young Liberals received suspensions on Friday after it was revealed they made lewd comments about women in a Facebook chat group meant for election campaigning.
The four used the dating app Tinder to connect with women who they hoped to convince to vote Liberal and then made sexually explicit comments about them in a group chat.
The now former staffer of Mr Ward’s is Wollongong Young Liberal Jacob Sich.
When contacted by the Mercury, Mr Ward said he “wasn’t making any comment, other than to say the staff member concerned offered his resignation and it was accepted”.
Sources have told the Mercury that Mr Ward initially didn’t intend to sack Mr Sich, and it took an intervention from the Premier’s office for action to be taken.
“He offered his resignation, so I don’t see why the Premier’s office needs to be involved,” Mr Ward said.
One of the Young Liberals posted a photo of a woman he was chatting with on Tinder, describing her appearance as resembling a“potato”.
“A potato that can vote,” the Young Liberal wrote.
“Then root and boot her and leave some HTVs (how to vote cards). F..k I could go some fries right now.”
Women in the chat group were horrified by the comments and pleaded with their male colleagues to stop making derogatory comments about females.
“People wonder why women don’t want to join the Liberal Party,” one posted in the group.
The four received the maximum available penalty late on Friday and were suspended from the Liberals for six months after party officials saw the contents of the chat group.
It is expected that the party’s state executive could move to expel them.
When asked whether further action should be taken against the four, Mr Ward said it was “a matter for the Liberal Party, it’s not a matter for me”.
Attempts to contact Mr Sich, who appears to have deleted his Facebook presence and listed his Instagram account as private, have so far been unsuccessful.