One Nation’s Latest Candidate Is An Ex-Cop Who Was Once Accused Of Abducting Indigenous Kids
A member of the notorious Pinkenba Six, Mark Ellis says his past "shouldn't be an issue".
I don’t know who screens the candidates down at Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, but they seriously need to consider a change in careers. Since reemerging as a political force during last year’s federal election, the party has endorsed a number of questionable characters, including one they dropped from the ticket after she said that “gays should be treated as patients”, and another who resigned after a blog post on his website called the Port Arthur Massacre a “fabricated incident”.
And don’t even get me started on the people they actually got elected.
But of all the candidates Pauline Hanson has fielded so far could Mark Ellis be the most questionable one yet?
Ellis has been endorsed as the One Nation candidate in Macalister, a newly created seat located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast which the party will contest in the upcoming state election. He served as a Queensland police officer for 15 years, and now runs his own business, Gatecrash Security.
According to his profile on the One Nation website, Ellis is “passionate about local business, growth, law and order, infrastructure, sporting clubs and community groups. He is proud of his local heritage, and will fight hard for his residents.”
But Ellis is also a member of the notorious “Pinkenba Six”, a group of six police officers who in May 1994 took three young Indigenous boys, aged 12, 13 and 14, from the mall in Fortitude Valley and dumped them 14 kilomotres away in the bush at Pinkenba on the outskirts of Brisbane. The police allegedly took the children’s shoes and told them to walk home. One officer also reportedly threatened to cut off their fingers.
The six officers, including Ellis, were subsequently charged with deprivation of liberty. However the charges were later dropped after the magistrate ruled the boys had gone with the police willingly. The officers were placed on probation but later reinstated.
Asked this week about the incident, a visibly frustrated Ellis told Nine News that “something that happened 30 years ago that got thrown out of court shouldn’t be an issue.”
He went on to say that he had “learnt a lot” from the incident and that he “wouldn’t do it again”, but insisted that “the circumstances at that time were very different to today”.
“I’ve moved on from that, it’s probably time you guys did too,” Ellis added.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) April 21, 2017
However, Ellis’ past has not gone unnoticed. On Saturday afternoon, Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad wrote on Facebook that the One Nation candidate’s actions were “abhorrent”.
“One Nation may think this is acceptable behaviour, but I don’t,” Trad wrote. “I will always call them out on it, not only as the Member for South Brisbane, but as a mother who doesn’t want to see her children grow up in a world where people like Mark Ellis get a tick of approval.”
Ellis has since hit out at his critics. “To the 2 or 3 angry keyboard warrior trolls that got very upset that I made an error of judgement 23 years ago, I commend you on living perfect lives!” he wrote on Facebook.